Survey Promo
RVA App Promo Image

"Pieta" promotes love, strengthens relationships among religious communities, says Indonesian Muslim scholar

Al Makin, chancellor of the State Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 8, 2022. (Photo by Rmold Id Agency news)

After touring the Vatican's Catacombs, Al Makin, an Indonesian Muslim scholar, spoke on the importance of promoting Pieta's work and bringing all faith adherents together as brethren through a visit to St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Al Makin, chancellor of the State Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, along with the Indonesian Minister of Religion and others, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 8 and expressed his admiration for Michelangelo's Pieta, located in the Basilica's catacombs.

Father Markus Solo Kewuta, a member of the Papacy's Council for Interreligious Dialogue, took the team on a tour of the Basilica, where Makin discovered the "Pieta" sculpture as cited in Rmold Id Agency news.

The name "pieta" comes from the Italian word for "pity" and the Latin word for "compassion." This sad painting shows the Virgin Mary holding Jesus' body in her arms.

Makin said that the events shown in the Pieta might correspond to events that occurred in the holy territory of Jerusalem two thousand years ago. 

Pieta (

He said, “Pieta represents not just the sacrifice of a prophet (Jesus) for his people but also a mother's love for her son.”

Makin thinks that this connection of love between God and people, mother and child, and other feelings of love should be the basis for how people of different religions talk to each other around the world.

He looks at how the sadness is shown, how fresh the body is, and the religious meaning of the connection between the mother and son in Pieta.

He said, "For Catholics, (perhaps) Pieta is a model of solemnity."

As a Muslim, he compares Pieta's work to a Muslim who reads “Sirah Nabawiyah” (the Prophet's journey) as part of his fight to keep God's word alive.

He said, "This importance can be increased by talking to other religions, at least between Catholics and Muslims, and by all religious groups in the context of the world and Indonesia."

He said, "We need Pieta's work and a trip to the Basilica to bring us together like brothers."

Makin says that the Minister of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia and his colleagues went to the Vatican to promote religious tolerance and brotherhood and invite Pope Francis to visit Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country.

"The purpose of the visit is to create fraternity between religions and people in an atmosphere of tolerance and collaboration," he said. - Kasmir Nema 


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.