“Thank God that no Christians died in the attack,” brother Sam*, Open Doors’ coordinator for the work in South East Asia, says. “But some believers have been severely wounded, and all present have been traumatized. Their lives will never be the same. We ask the worldwide Church to pray for their brothers and sisters in Makassar.”
The Palm Sunday explosion occurred at 10:28 am local time, as worshipers were on their way home from the church service. Police say the suspects are two men on motorbikes, both of whom died after triggering the suicide bombs they were wielding.
A priest from the church tells local media that one bomber tried to enter the building and church grounds, but a guard stopped him. According to a Channel News Asia report, five church staff members and four worshipers are among the wounded. They say there were few people attending mass due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The police have not yet pinned down the attack on any group, and no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. Indonesia is no stranger to terrorist attacks. Just four months ago, four Christians were murdered in Sigi, Indonesia, by Islamic extremists. And in 2018, police blamed groups connected to the Islamic State group for a church suicide attack in Surabaya that killed 30 people.
“In Indonesia, the situation for Christians has been deteriorating in recent years, with Indonesian society taking on a more conservative Islamic character,” says Brother Sam. “Christians who grew up in a Muslim home often experience persecution from their families. At the same time, Islamic militants carry out attacks from time to time. Many share the ideology or are affiliated with global terrorist movements such as the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda. “
Open Doors has local partners on-site to do fact-finding and assess the needs of the Christians. Brother Sam continues, “It’s important that we come alongside when they are suffering. They must know that they are not alone.”
Please join us in prayer for those wounded and traumatized in this horrific and evil attack on the Church. Ask God to give them healing and the comfort of the Holy Spirit as they recover. We will share updates as we learn more from our team in the field.
Open Doors partners work with local mission agencies in Indonesia to enrich both field workers and new believers and strengthen the church by offering urgent aid and relief, trauma care, persecution preparedness training and other biblical teachings.