Four months after an earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Java, Indonesian Mennonites and Muslims are rebuilding homes and forging new relationships across religious lines, says Jeanne Jantzi a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) country representative for Indonesia.
Mennonites are Christians in the Anabaptist peace church tradition. MCC is a North American relief, development and advocacy organization.
The 27 May 2006 earthquake claimed more than 6,200 lives and destroyed tens of thousands of homes in Java, Indonesia's most populous island.
Starting in October, MCC is sponsoring a project to build 100 earthquake-resistant houses in Java's Pundong district. The project will involve and benefit both Muslims and Mennonites, and it follows a successful interfaith relief effort.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, Indonesian Mennonites organized Mennonite and Muslim volunteers to distribute aid, clean up rubble and construct temporary shelters in Pundong.