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Coronavirus: Thousands of Indonesians Attend Public Prayers Despite Appeal to Cancel

“If we get infected at a mosque and die, we die nobly,” a worshipper said.

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  • Several mosques in Jakarta, Indonesia defied the appeal of local officials to suspend public prayers for two weeks, amidst efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Reporters from The Strait Times visited some mosques in Jakarta and said that muslims attended the prayers and it was “full house.”
  • Some worshippers explained their decision to attend the massive gathering, believing that “Life and death is in God’s hands”.

Despite threats of the continued spread of the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), faithfuls of Allah pushed through with their public massive prayer held in different mosques in Jakarta, Indonesia. The simultaneous prayer gatherings happened despite Indonesia’s efforts to emphasize the importance of social distancing.

The muslim faithfuls defied Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s recent “moral call” to all mosques to cancel their prayers for two weeks. In a report by The Strait Times, their team visited some major mosques in Jakarta and found that two largest mosques, Al-Azhar Great Mosque and Nurul Yaqin Mosque, were still open and operating. Faithfuls were still there on the floor, kneeling and praying, and with little distance between each other.

The Nurul Yaqin Mosque, on the other hand, was “full house,” The Strait Times reported. This was due to the closure of a nearby mosque, Jami’ Nurul Hidayah, the only mosque that complied with Baswedan’s plea.

“Muslims should not be afraid of CoronaVirus, going to a mosque. If we get infected at a mosque and die, we die nobly,” a worshipper told The Strait Times .

A day before the huge gathering, Baswedan made an announcement telling all Jakarta locals not to attend nor organize any worship services for both Muslims and Christians.

Baswedan’s order was made after Indonesia President Joko Widodo imposed measures on social distancing.

“If you want to keep others safe, to keep yourself safe, act responsibly. Acting responsibly is to stay home,to do prayers at home,” Baswedan said.

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country, trailing behind China, India, and the United States.

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So far, Indonesia has reported a total of 369 confirmed coronavirus cases and 32 deaths. The Widodo administration has been criticized for not conducting mass testing for the people, citing only 1,529 Indonesians received testing kits.

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