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Jakarta Post

Picture of Indonesian Muslim woman shaking hands with Pope Francis goes viral

  • Dyaning Pangestika
    Dyaning Pangestika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 3, 2019   /   04:36 pm
Picture of Indonesian Muslim woman shaking hands with Pope Francis goes viral Dewi Praswida, a 23-year-old student from Indonesia, shakes hands with Pope Francis on June 26. Dewi has become an internet sensation after the picture went viral. (Facebook/Dewi Praswida)

A picture of a Muslim woman from Indonesia shaking hands with Pope Francis has gone viral on the internet.

The woman in question, Dewi Praswida, is a 23-year-old student who was visiting the Vatican to take part in an interfaith dialog fellowship. Dewi got the opportunity to shake hands with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square on June 26. At that time, Dewi introduced herself as a Muslim from Indonesia.

Her post gained attention after political observer Fadjroel Rachman posted the picture on his Instagram account (@fadjroelrachman) on Sunday. The picture, which had gained over 11 thousand likes by Wednesday, has been reshared by multiple social media accounts and news outlets ever since.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

☝🏻"Jilbabku dan jubahmu bukanlah sekat untuk tidak bersaudara" - Dewi Praswida, Penerima Beasiswa Nostra Aetate. Foto ini mendadak viral. Perjumpaan sederhana yang tak biasa. Sebab tak seperti foto antar umat Katolik dan pemimpinnya, foto ini jadi terlihat istimewa. Foto seorang muslimah dari negeri dengan mayoritas berpenduduk muslim dan pemimpin milyaran umat Katolik dunia. Penegasan Dewi soal identitasnya adalah wujud penegasan akan harmoni kehidupan antar umat beragama meski secara iman berbeda. Dewi yang merupakan aktivis Gusdurian dari Jawa Tengah membawa wajah rahmat semesta alam pada Bapa Suci dan begitu sebaliknya ia mendapatkan senyum kasih untuk uluran tangan persaudaraannya. Betapa indah ..💝💝💝

A post shared by Fadjroel Rachman (@fadjroelrachman) on

According to Dewi, she was the only one who had the opportunity to shake hands with the Pope at that moment.

“I was the only one who shook hands with the Pope at that time. I introduced myself to him, and asked him to pray for me as well for world peace,” Dewi said as quoted by Kompas.com on Tuesday.

Dewi added that it was her second time meeting with the Pope. A similar interaction also happened in March 2018, when she attended a youth pre-synod meeting in the Vatican. 

“No one documented our interaction at that time,” Dewi said. (dpk)