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Jakarta Post

In Muslim-majority Blitar, villagers maintain interfaith harmony brick by brick

  • Asip Hasani

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Blitar, East Java   /   Tue, July 23, 2019   /  09:58 am
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Around 200 residents of different faiths in Krisik village in Muslim-majority Blitar regency volunteer to help in the construction of a landslide barrier for a Hindu temple, Pura Agung Arga Sunya, on Saturday.(The Jakarta Post/Asip Hasani)

It was early in the morning when Salamun rushed to Al Falah mosque in Krisik village, Blitar regency, East Java, to make an announcement on kerja bakti (community activity) to local villagers on Saturday. Through the mosque’s loudspeaker, he called on neighbors to come together to build a 32-meter-tall landslide barrier on the slope of a hill where Pura Agung Arga Sunya – one of the three grand Hindu temples in the regency – stands. Minutes after Salamun’s announcement, dozens of villagers from Wonorejo hamlet, one of four hamlets in the village, gathered in the mosque yard to depart together to the temple, located about 4 kilometers from the mosque. They were apparently not the only group to participate in the activity, as Salamun and his neighbors were joined by residents of the other three hamlets, most of whom were Muslims and Christians, to help in c...