Ramadhan events promote religious harmony, tolerance
The Jakarta Post
Hundreds of people flocked to a bazaar selling basic commodities held by congregation members of the St.Theresia Bongsari Church in Semarang, Central Java, on Sunday, or five days before Idul Fitri. At least 400 packages of basic commodities were offered at an affordable price at the bazaar.
Each package, which contained 5 kilograms of rice, 1 kg of sugar, 1 kg of wheat flour, 1 liter of cooking oil, tea and soy sauce, cost only Rp 50,000 (US$3.60). Other items were also sold at low prices, such as school equipment and 267 kg of eggs.
Catholic priest Eduardus Didik Chahyono said all the goods were being sold far below market price because the Bongsari parish wanted to share happiness.
“The bazaar was held by congregation members of the Bongsari parish. We hold bazaars like this every Christmas and Idul Fitri,” he said.
Togetherness: Members of Jami'atul Quro wal Huffadh, a rebana (traditional tambourine) musical group, sing Islamic songs during a breaking-of-the fast event held by the St.Theresia Bongsari Church in Semarang, Central Java, on June 1. (JP/Suherdjoko)
The bazaar was one of two events held by the church during Ramadhan this year. A breaking-of-the-fast event was also held at the St. Maria Park in Bojongsalaman subdistrict, West Semarang, on June 1.
Members of Jami'atul Quro wal Huffadh, a rebana (tambourine) musical group, sang Islamic songs. A qori performed a Quranic recitation before they broke the fasting.
“A breaking-of-the fast event is held routinely. The Bongsari church is part of this neighborhood unit. We have always been involved in the dynamics of this community. With this event, we want to give testimony that at the grassroots level, our people live in peace and harmony,” said Priest Didik. He said people must always be critical of views that tended to besmirch other religions
Islamic cleric Khoirul Anwar said Muslims were often called on to be peacemakers for parties engaged in conflict. “The presence of Muslims should bring peace,” he said. (ebf)
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