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Jakarta Post

Rp 106m raised for Muslim youth who died protecting Christmas congregants from bomb attack

  • A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil
    A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 26, 2019   /   12:50 pm
Rp 106m raised for Muslim youth who died protecting Christmas congregants from bomb attack Riyanto, a member of the Nahdlatul Ulama youth wing, Banser, died at the age of 25 when he allowed a bomb to explode on him on December 24, 2000, to save congregants at a Christmas Eve mass at the Eben Haezer Church in Mojokerto, East Java. (NU.or.id/-)

A fundraiser to honor Riyanto, a late member of Indonesia’s largest Islamic group Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU) youth wing, Banser, by the anonymous Twitter account Katolik Garis Lucu has raised Rp 106 million (US$7,604), exceeding its initial target of Rp 50 million on the Kitabisa crowdfunding platform.

Riyanto died on December 24, 2000, while helping to patrol and secure the Eben Haezer Church in Mojokerto, East Java, at the age of 25.

The fallen Banser member was patrolling the church with four youth-group companions on Christmas Eve when he heard there was a suspicious black package.

He opened the package and saw electrical cables. He then covered the package with his body and told the congregants to get away and duck. The bomb went off, killing him and damaging the church’s concrete walls.

To honor his sacrifice, the Katolik Garis Lucu Twitter account @KatolikG, inspired by comedy account @NUgarislucu, set up a fundraising effort.

“Katolik Garis Lucu wants to give a present to Riyanto’s family and his four friends who were on duty at the time. Amid the challenges that our country faces, Riyanto reminds us that our duty as humans is not altered by any kind of differences. Diversity is a richness that colors our life as Indonesians,” the account wrote on the Kitabisa page.

Katolik Garis Lucu announced on Tuesday that the funds raised would soon be given to the families as the fundraising window had closed.

“Today is the 15th day of fundraising for Riyanto and friends. We will hand over the money raised at St. Yoseph Catholic Church in Mojokerto on Sunday. We are currently organizing it with all related parties. Thank you for all of your participation,” the account tweeted on Tuesday.

Indonesian netizens lauded the donation initiative and praised Riyanto for his service.

User @zeyap3dr4 said, “He is real proof that differences are not a barrier to doing good to everyone. We are all brothers, even if we are not of the same faith. Tonight, we pray for you, friend.”

@sitimiland1 tweeted, “Some of us are busy debating whether Christmas greetings [are allowed for Muslims], while some of us are busy preparing Christmas gifts for our Banser member. Thank you very much. Merry Christmas.”