Viral: Muslim woman sings soaring rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ at church funeral as a final tribute to her friend

Many people (including us) are worried about the signs of growing religious intolerance in Indonesia, but that certainly doesn’t mean that the spirit of pluralism and interfaith harmony is gone from this country entirely. Far from it, in fact, as can be seen in this moving musical tribute a Muslim woman recently made to her recently departed friend.

The post by Facebook user Budi Soehardi explains that a friend had seen the woman in the video singing at the funeral service for her best friend, Chatarina Suyanti. “That (Monday) morning, I attended the requiem mass at the Bogor Cathedral Church. As a last honor (before they closed the casket), the song ‘Ave Maria’ was sung by a female soloist wearing a hijab with a tremendous feeling of appreciation. That is the beauty of friendship that doesn’t focus on the differences.”

Budi’s post quickly went viral and has been shared over 10,000 times. A tweet by Twitter user Rexy Ambarwati featuring a different video of the performance also got shared several thousand times.

Clearly, Chatarina Suyanti had many people in her life who loved her greatly and wanted to say goodbye to her in a special way (this post contains a longer version of the first video):

The bond between Chatarina and her friend fill us with hope that the worries about rising religious intolerance in Indonesia really are overblown, that they don’t represent the majority of Indonesians and that the government and others will be strong enough to take the steps necessary to end faith-based discrimination in this country (one of which the Constitutional Court took just the other day). We just need more people who are brave enough to show us them the way.

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