BALI – A photo showing three Balinese footballers in Indonesia has gone viral on the internet, portraying a symbol of religious tolerance with a Muslim, Christian and Hindu players praying together.
Standing in a row, Bali United’s defender Ngurah Nanak (a Hindu), forward Yabes Roni (a Christian), and striker Miftahul Hamdi (a Muslim) were photographed celebrating Roni’s second goal during a recent win against Borneo FC.
With players demonstrating an act of prayer in each of their respective faiths, they made a silent political statement in the image seen all over the world.
“Because different beliefs will not prevent us from achieving the same goals,” a caption under the photo in Indonesian reads, NewsTalk reported on Monday, June 12.
The Bali United celebration was designed to show people across the country that not only could members of different religions work together, but that they can also be friends.
“Even though we all come from different religions and ethnicities, we’re all one,” Yabes Roni told Indonesia’s Kompas.
“We have to protect the country’s harmony and stay united.”
Miftahuddin Halim, the photographer who snapped the moment, shared the players’ sentiments, adding that he was “glad that photo serves as an example for people. Soccer can unite the country.”
Indonesia is the most populous Muslim state where Muslims make up 80% percent of the 220 million population.