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UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
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Indonesian nuns' Eid song is a hit with Muslims

Sisters say the song was their way of staying in touch with Muslim friends during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Indonesian nuns' Eid song is a hit with Muslims

The three nuns of the Daughters of the Mother of the Sacred Heart are seen singing an Eid al-Fitr song at their convent in Jakarta. The video went viral and was praised by Muslims. (Photo: YouTube)

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Three nuns have earned widespread praise from Muslims in Indonesia for singing an Eid al-Fitr song that went viral on social media.

The video of the three Daughters of the Mother of the Sacred Heart sisters singing "Selamat Lebaran" (Happy Eid al-Fitr) at their convent in Jakarta was widely circulated on the internet and broadcast on television on May 24.

Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo said the nuns had “angelic voices” and uploaded the video on his Instagram account, which attracted over 663,000 hits. 

Sister Maria Vinsencia, one of the nuns in the video, said the initial goal was to greet their Muslim employees and neighbors, whom they usually visit during Eid celebrations.

"We wanted to keep in touch with them. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we chose to send our prayers and greetings through a video," she told UCA News.

She said they did not imagine the video would later prove so popular.

She hoped its message would foster unity and brotherhood, especially during the pandemic. "Hopefully the spirit of tolerance that we show will spread widely, and let’s also pray for one another," he said.

Ahmad Nurcholish, deputy director of interfaith organization Indonesia Conference on Religion on Peace, said the video was "a demonstration of real tolerance from non-Muslim brothers and sisters."

"I hope this can strengthen the positive relations between Catholics and Muslims," he told UCA News.

He said he also followed social distancing rules by using social media to to stay in touch with family and friends.

Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, a member of a presidential unit promoting communal tolerance, called the nuns’ video a creative form of using social media for something positive.

This, he said, is in line with Pope Francis' message in the framework of World Social Communication Day on May 24 about how to use information and communication media to spread good stories to others.

"Social media should be used to advance humanity because through social media the public is invited to strengthen the values of humanity, solidarity and fraternity," he said.

"What the sisters are doing is what Pope Francis also hoped for."

Meanwhile, Muslim cleric Robikin Emhas from Nadhlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Muslim organization said the video helped strengthen brotherhood.

“If many [religious believers] are as tolerant as the nuns, the world will be much more peaceful,” he said. 

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