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President Joko Widodo (in white) visited one of the churches that were attacked.
President Joko Widodo (in white)
visited one of the churches
that were attacked.

A married couple has been convicted and sentenced for their part in the bombing of three churches in Surabaya in May 2018. Agus Satrio Widodo received a sentence of eight years, and his wife Damayanti received 40 months after a court found them guilty of "aiding criminal acts of terrorism," as well as criminal conspiracy.

On May 13th, 2018, six members of the same family targeted three churches in the port city of Surabaya during their early morning services. Two brothers, ages 16 and 18, rode motorcycles up to the first church to detonate their bombs. Five minutes later, their father exploded a car bomb on the grounds of the second church; and their mother blew herself up, along with her young daughters, at a third church. At least 14 people died in the attacks. For more information on these attacks, go to this page.

The family who carried out the attack had recently returned to Indonesia from Syria. Agus Satrio Widodo was the suspected leader of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, a militant group associated with ISIS terrorists. In total, more than 300 kilograms of explosives were discovered in the aftermath of the attack. Widodo and his wife were found to be hiding some of the explosives.

We encourage you to pray for the repentance and salvation of this couple who were convicted for instigating the destruction of the three churches and the resulting devastation of so many lives. May they come to understand the forgiveness, hope and peace that can only be attained through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray that the Indonesian authorities will remain vigilant in preventing such attacks from occurring in the future.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
267,026,366 (July 2020 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Javanese (40.1), Sundanese (15.5), Malay (3.7), Balak (3.6), Madurese (3), Betawi (2.9), Minangkabau (2.7), Buginese (2.7), Bantenese (2), Other (23.8)

Religion (%)
Muslim (87.2), Christian (9.9), Hindu (1.7), Other (0.9), Unspecified (0.4)

Leader
President Joko Widodo (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Civil law system based on the Roman-Dutch model and influenced by customary law

Sources: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Indonesia

Pray for the continued growth of the church in Indonesia, despite the intense opposition and persecution that has taken place. May the destructive plans of the enemy to eradicate Christianity be frustrated and nullified.

Pray that whatever is intended for evil, God will turn around for good -- causing such hatred and violence to not only discredit extremism, but to also compel many to seek salvation in Christ... including the perpetrators of persecution.

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