Christian Churches attacked by Islamist family in Indonesia leaves at least 13 dead

Christian Churches attacked by Islamist family in Indonesia leaves at least 13 dead

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The city of Surabaya in Indonesia witnessed suicide attacks against three Christian churches that left at least 13 people dead. It is known that the Sunni Islamists belonged to the same family and that they were connected to Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). This Islamist group is inspired by ISIS (Islamic State – IS). Therefore, the authorities in Indonesia need to look closer at individuals connected to JAD and who have been to Syria.

Immediately, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia condemned the terrorist attack. He said, This act is barbaric and beyond the limits of humanity, causing victims among members of society, the police and even innocent children.”

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world but the Christian faith numbers roughly 25 million people. Also, just like in other nations blighted by terrorism, radical Sunni Islamists also intimidate Muslim minority sects including the Ahmadiyya and Shia.

The Guardian stipulates, “The Indonesian police chief, Tito Karniavan, told reporters that investigators believed one family – a husband and wife, and their four children aged between nine and 18 – were the perpetrators of the worst attack the country has seen in more than a decade.”

It appears that the attacks on three Christian churches were planned in advance. Despite this, a likely connection exists between a recent prison riot by Islamists that led to five officers being killed and a counter-terrorist attack against JAD terrorists that took place on the same day. Hence, hours before the barbaric attack against three Christian churches, it is known that counter-terrorists killed 4 terrorists belonging to JAD.

Christian worshippers at the three churches attacked are in shock. Hence, prayers and pastoral care are ongoing at the Santa Maria Tak Bercela Catholic Church, the Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church, and the Surabaya Pentecostal Church.

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