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Life of Shias in Salatiga: How they live peacefully with other communities


The inhabitants of Pancuran village in Salatiga consist of various social-economic statuses. They live in a narrow alley with houses lining along it. They are sellers, civil servants, small business owners, thugs, and other professionals living in narrow and varied settlements. Pancuran is very close to the big market in Salatiga, that most of the inhabitants are merchants in the market. Most of the people living in Pancuran, Salatiga, work in informal sectors. It is interesting because there is a Muria Christian Church in Indonesia in the middle of the settlement. Worship and church activities can be conducted well without any obstructions from the non-Christian inhabitants. The church has so far built a very good relationship with the inhabitants. The church becomes a part of the surrounding society, and the people also regard the church’s presence as a part of the settlement.

Shias of Pancuran

Very close to the church is a mosque. Both places of worship have long been living side by side without any significant problems. The experience of such religious life shows how religions in this settlement bring about a naturally peaceful atmosphere without any forces of oppression from any parties. The life of Shias in Salatiga is defined in the Pancuran society. There are quite many Shia people in Pancuran, and in everyday life, they intimately mingle with people from different religions.

Shia and Muslim communities, in general, cannot be differentiated in their daily lives since they do not display any significant differences because they mingle in the spirit of fraternity. The differences in teachings do not hinder them from building good relationships. The life of Shias in Salatiga is important for both the Muslim community and other religious communities. In response to this, other religious communities positively respond and welcome their relatives who hold different teachings. Respect and appreciation among the people serve as the reasons of the people in Pancuran to manage pluralism. The awareness of the need to support each other becomes a lifestyle and a way of living of religious communities in Pancuran. The friendly relationship among religious communities is the strength of the people in Pancuran in developing religious harmony.

Mutual Respect

Social classification and stratification, along with the order of their influence on people in Salatiga can be mapped as follows:

  1. Religious leaders/figures, soldiers, mayor
  2. Police officers, influential intellectuals
  3. Entrepreneurs, company owners. Some of these entrepreneurs are also religious figures or directly linked with well-regarded religious figures/officials.
  4. Teachers/Ustad (honorific title of a man, used to be for well-regarded Muslim teachers). Most of them live a simple life, but they are role models.
  5. Thugs: only some groups (especially owners of big stores on the roadsides).

The thugs understand their existence in terms of control over the “security business” along the road and market. They are strong, brave, fight a lot, violent. They have links, syndicates, organizations, and gangs. This diverse social stratification is well managed by people in Salatiga that all components in the society can appreciate and maintain harmonious life well. During Eid-al-Adha, some places even set aside the meat from the sacrifice to be cooked and sent to non-Muslim neighbors. The face of peaceful religious life filled with the spirit of fraternity and intimacy are the peculiarities of people in Salatiga. The favorable condition in the Pancuran village of Salatiga is supported by religious figures, the people, and the leaders of Salatiga. It results in a friendly religious life.


In the context of social, religious life and the condition of religious society, Salatiga is one of the successful towns in maintaining its religious life. In central Java, Salatiga is one of the towns with a strong bond among the existing religious society. Religious harmony is a natural reality that is manifested in daily life without any manipulation.

A lifestyle that promotes neighboring, fraternity, tolerance, and humanity reasons are themes growing in the relations of people in Salatiga. The habit of celebrating religious holidays such as Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha among Muslims and how other religions support the celebrations is also depicts the mutual respect’s religions.


Shia community (A research everyday lives of the Shia community in Salatiga, central java) by Retnowati and Yedi Efriadi p. 207 – 208


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