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Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sulawesi, Indonesia - Photo: Wikipedia / Tropen Museum
The Sacred Heart Cathedral has stood
in this location since 1900.
Photo: Wikipedia / Tropen Museum (cc)

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, Sulawesi, had just finished its Palm Sunday Mass on March 29th, and were in the midst of preparations for a second service, when the air was suddenly filled with the sound of an explosion. A newly married couple belonging to the ISIS-affiliated group, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, had detonated explosives, killing themselves and wounding at least 20 other people.

The pair had approached the church on a motorcycle when they were stopped at the gates by security guards. When it became evident that they would not be able to get closer to the church, they detonated a pressure-cooker bomb, killing themselves and injuring the guards and worshippers who were leaving or entering the building. If they had been able to get into the cathedral, the effects of the blast would have been far greater.

As of Monday, it was reported that about 15 people had been hospitalized, two of whom were admitted to an intensive care unit for their burns. The male bomber had allegedly left a note saying that he was prepared to die as a martyr. He and his wife belonged to a militant Islamic study group attended by nine others, who have since been arrested for their role in the attack.

Times of Christian celebration, such as Easter and Christmas, have been frequently chosen by terrorists for attacks against Christians around the globe. In 2019, the attention of the world turned to Sri Lanka after another militant Islamist group targeted three churches, resulting in the loss of more than 250 lives (see this report). Three years prior to that, an attack during an outdoor Easter gathering in Lahore, Pakistan, left almost 70 people dead (read more).

Pray for God's peace and protection to reign throughout this Easter season as Christians celebrate the hope and new spiritual birth that has been made available through the death and resurrection of Christ, especially in areas of the world where there is hostility towards the Gospel. May those facing hardships as they follow Him continue to do so courageously and faithfully, knowing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. More specifically, please pray for the believers in Indonesia who have been wounded and traumatized by this recent attack, asking the Lord to minister needed healing and comfort as they recover.

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.

end

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Indonesia News

  • Four Christians Killed
    A home in Indonesia
    Photo: Open Doors

    A small militant group associated with ISIS, referred to as The East Indonesia Mujahideen, is known for its acts of violence. This same group was responsible for an attack in November that left four Christians dead (read the report). Therefore, when five members of the group wer

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  • Palm Sunday Suicide Bombing
    Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sulawesi, Indonesia - Photo: Wikipedia / Tropen Museum
    The Sacred Heart Cathedral has stood
    in this location since 1900.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Tropen Museum (cc)

    The Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, Sulawesi, had just finished its Palm Sunday Mass on March 29th, and were in the midst of preparations for a second service, when the air was sudde

    ...
  • Christian Family Killed in Terrorist Attack
    Central Sulawesi - Photo: Flickr / Ruth Onduko
    Central Sulawesi
    Photo: Flickr / Ruth Onduko (cc)

    The Indonesian police and military have launched a hunt for the Islamic terrorist group responsible for killing four Christians of a single family and setting fire to homes in Central Sulawesi. This is the third attack within the past three months

    ...
  • Protests Force Church to Close
    A Sunday School in Indonesia - Photo: World Watch Monitor www.worldwatchmonitor.org
    Ask God to provide wisdom as Indonesian believers seek ways to gather in fellowship.
    Photo: World Watch Monitor

    The New Testament Christian Church in Central Java was meeting for worship on February 16th when protesters entered the building and demanded that the church service stop. As the demonstra

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