Mass interfaith prayers held in Bali in wake of Surabaya attacks

People of different religions in Bali have banded together to pray collectively for the numerous victims of a series of attacks on the Indonesian island of Java and now the subsequent suspected terrorist attack in Sumatra.

The island of Bali may be predominantly Hindu, but there are residents of multiple faiths living in peaceful coexistence, praying that the violence come to an end.

Hundreds of Bali residents gathered in two different locations, in the island’s capital Denpasar on Tuesday and in Nusa Dua in the south for joint prayers on Wednesday.

Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists flocked to the Bajra Sandi monument in Renon on Tuesday afternoon to express a firm stance against terrorism and show a response of solidarity.

“Together, we find this series of actions disturbing. This should not be a regular thing for our youth, terrorists should not be defeating security or military personnel,” joint prayer coordinator Komang Gede Antaguna said on Tuesday, as quoted by Akurat.

“We are asserting this attitude so that the public is not provoked by hatred, extreme teachings and ideology,” he said.

Meanwhile, the joint prayer in Nusa Dua on Wednesday was held at the Puja Mandala, a multi-faith complex containing places of worship for five of Indonesia’s official religions: a Hindu temple, a mosque, a Buddhist temple, and both a Catholic and Protestant church.

Leaders from each faith took turns guiding prayers and asking that Indonesia is harmed by prolonged terror.

Badung chairman of the Forum of Religious Harmony (FKUB) Kompyang R Swandika invoked Pancasila, the country’s founding ideology that guarantees equality amongst the country’s officially recognized religions.

“We pray for the harmony of religious communities, inter-religious harmony, and harmony between religious communities and the government,” Swandika said, as quoted by Tribun Bali.

The event was attended by the vice regent of Badung, Denpasar Police, South Kuta Police, and district military command.

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