Three Indonesian Soccer Players — Christian, Muslim, and Hindu — Make Demonstration of Unity in Celebration of Goal

Three Indonesian soccer players have become symbolic of what a more peaceful world might look like thanks to a unique goal celebration recently caught on camera.

Lined up in a row, Bali United’s Hindu defender Ngurah Nanak, Christian forward Yabes Roni and Muslim striker Miftahul Hamdi each celebrated Yabes’s second goal of the team’s 3-0 win last month against Borneo FC by demonstrating the three religion’s prayer positions.

A political statement without words, a photo of the celebration taken by photographer Miftahuddin Halim and posted to the team’s Facebook page on Sunday went worldwide.

“Because different beliefs will not prevent us from achieving the same goals,” the photo’s caption reads.

The photo comes at a particularly important time in Indonesian history, as the rise of less tolerant Islamist political factions in the country in recent months has threatened Indonesia’s more moderate and secular government.

To combat the growing concern, Bali United players celebrated the team’s goals by demonstrating people of different religions not only can work together but genuinely get along.

“Even though we all come from different religions and ethnicities, we’re all one, “Yabes told Indonesia’s (translation via Vice). “We have to protect the country’s harmony and stay united.”

The photographer Halim echoed that sentiment, noting he was “glad that photo serves as an example for people. Soccer can unite the country.”

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