This Mosque in Indonesia Lays 1,700 Metres Below Ground Level, Side by Side with Underground Church

When Reyhan Tanjung stepped his feet to the underground mine that belongs to PT Freeport Indonesia, he had no idea this kind of view would pop up in front of him. He was in the secluded small town of Mimika in Papua that is famous for mining activities of gold, silver, and copper.

He was 1,700 metres below ground level when he saw a big white wall with black writings on it, says ‘Masjid Al Baabul Munawwar’.

“The first question that came up in my mind is how come humans build a worship place that is very deep on earth?” said Reyhan to HHWT.

A second later, he got his next surprise: another worship place with massive red writings says, ‘Gereja Oikumene Soteria’. And there he was, standing in the middle of an underground mosque and church in a secluded town in eastern Indonesia.

Credit: @reyhanreynardot on Instagram

The deepest underground mosque and church in Indonesia

What’s it like to be there?

To HHWT, Reyhan told his story when visiting this place in March 2020. 

“These worship places are very clean and well-maintained. The staff of PT Freeport Indonesia built this mosque and church inside their underground mining. It was intended for underground mining workers who are on duty, so they don’t need to go up only for praying.”

No doubt because the distance between this mosque and the ground level is 1.7 kilometres away.

Masjid Al Baabul Munawwar is dominated by green colour. There’s a mimbar and mazhab in the corner, also a picture of a green dome, minarets, and Ka’ba. Green carpet all over the floor.

masjid bawah tanahCredit: @reyhanreynardot on Instagram

Photo: PT Freeport Indonesia

There’s a place for wudu near the entrance. Even if it’s underground, there’s enough lighting in this place so people can pray peacefully.

Moving on to the church, there’s a huge red cross at the corner of the room. If the mosque has a green carpet, this church area is filled with neatly lined seats. 

gereja bawah tanahCredit: @reyhanreynardot on Instagram

Received a MURI Record

On January 2017, Masjid Al Baabul Munawwar and Gereja Oikumene Soteria received a MURI (Museum Rekor Dunia-Indonesia / World-Indonesia Record Museum) for the deepest mosque and church in Indonesia. 

Apart from being a praying spot for PT Freeport Indonesia’s staff, this mosque also becomes the central gathering place during Ramadan. During

the holy month, people usually have iftar and do maghrib prayer together in this place. After that, they will go back to their base, then go back again to this mosque for isya and tarawih.

masjid bawah tanah freeportCredit: MURI

Same thing as the church that became the main gathering place for weekend praying and Christmas for Christians. 

Both Masjid Al Baabul Munawwar and Gereja Oikumene Soteria are real evidence of tolerance in Indonesia. Do you want to visit this place? 🙂

gereja bawah tanahCredit: @reyhanreynardot on Instagram

By : Sastri –

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