Three churches in Indonesia have been attacked in suicide bombings that have been claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, killing at least 13 people and injuring dozens of others.
According to police, the suicide bombers were all members of the same family; a mother and her two daughters, aged nine and 12, detonated their bombs in one church, while the father and two sons, aged 16 and 18, targeted two other churches.
The Santa Maria Catholic Church was the first to be attacked, followed shortly afterwards by the Surabaya Centre Pentecostal Church and the Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church. The churches are located in Surabaya, the capital of East Java and Indonesia’s second city.
Open Doors workers went to the churches shortly after the bombings took place to comfort survivors and assess what support they may need.
We are family
The fact that a family were the ones to carry out these attacks, including young children and teenagers, is part of what makes this attack so shocking. A family should be a place of love and safety – and yet this one was used to inspire hatred and violence.
But there is another family that we are a part of – God’s worldwide family of the church. And it’s our brothers and sisters in Surabaya who need our prayers and support today. Many are grieving, many are injured, many are scared.
Theologian Richard J Foster tells us, “By means of intercessory prayer, God extends to each of us a personalised, hand-engraved invitation to become intimately involved in labouring for the well-being of others.” Let us labour in prayer for our church family in Indonesia today.
- For comfort for those who mourn, and healing for those who have been injured
- For protection over churches and others who are targets for extremist attacks – there was another attack on a police headquarters following the church attacks
- That God would confuse the plans of those who are seeking to do harm in Indonesia, and that God would change their hearts and draw them to Himself
- For wisdom for church leaders, Open Doors workers and others who are seeking to comfort those affected by these attacks
- For courage for Christians in Indonesia, and that these attacks would not stop them from meeting together and being a witness for Christ.
Open Doors works alongside local churches and mission agencies to support persecuted believers in Indonesia through immediate relief for victims of persecution, advocacy support, socio-economic development projects, training, and providing Bibles and other Christian literature. Support the work of Open Doors in South East Asia.