This article shows how rituals occupy a key role in the negotiation of inter-religious relations on the island of Lombok. Building on Howe’s (2000) argument that the anthropology of ritual has much to gain by focusing on risk, this article takes the rhetorical evocation of risk as a focus of inquiry, thereby refining understandings of how ritual efficacy are discursively generated. Examining a contested Hindu ritual performed in 2007, the article traces the representations of risk being mobilised by three sets of actors with stakes in the performance, showing how the ritual was a compromise co-produced by the Hindu Balinese organizers, Sasak Muslim groups and government officials. The article also uses this controversy to illustrate that Balinese and Sasak, despite adhering to different religions, share key assumptions about the power of ritual.