Indonesia – In the hours after a devastating earthquake shook Nias island, Farid Mushaf risked his life pulling a dead Christian neighbor from the rubble of his shop. The 56-year-old Muslim then loaded the corpse onto the back of his truck and took it to the Santa Maria Cathedral, which is being used as a morgue by Christians. Unlike other places in Indonesia, islanders on mostly Roman Catholic Nias have always lived in peace, an example of religious tolerance in a nation better known for interfaith clashes than harmony.
Elsewhere on this sprawling archipelago – the world’s most populous Muslim nation – religious violence, mainly between a fringe of Islamic extremists and pockets of Christians, has left thousands dead in recent years. But Monday’s devastating earthquake has deepened the ties on Nias and forced members of different religions to help each other in ways they could never have imagined. (MORE)