Three bombs exploded in three churches across Surabaya, capital of East Java province, Indonesia on Sunday morning (May 13). The churches were packed -at least 13 people were killed – including worshippers, a suicide bomber, and several police officers. Over 40 others were injured.
The explosions took place at a Catholic church (Santa Maria), a Protestant church (GKI Diponegoro), and a Pentecostal church (GPPS). CNN.com reported that the blasts occurred one after another between 7.30 and 8 AM. Three other explosives were later found at two of the church premises, but were successfully defused by the bomb squad.
Prior to the incident, local media reported, an unknown woman “sporting a jacket and bag pack” had forced her way through to the Protestant church while a worship service was in progress. Despite attempts by the security guard to halt her, she entered church premises and minutes later, a bomb exploded. The BBC has reported that shockingly, the bombers were all from the same family, with one church being targeted by the father, one by two sons and the last by the mother and her two long daughters.
Within hours after the tragedy, Open Doors partners were at one of the churches to strengthen the survivors and assess possible needs. “A pastor [of the bombed Pentecostal church] apparently came to our SSTS (Standing Strong through the Storm) seminar eight years ago. His response to the tragedy is really biblical,” said a project officer.
Indonesia, which has gone up to the 38th on the 2018 World Watch List, has survived a series of terrorist attacks for the past two decades. There are several Islamic extremist terrorist groups in the country who are targeting foreigners, police officers, and Christians.
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