Surabaya Christians Still Shocked After the Bombing Attacks

ICC Note: Christians in Surabaya have not yet recovered from the shock and loss suffered following the suicide bombing attacks on three churches on May 13. Believers came out and shared that many are still haunted by trauma, and that security is now heightened for Indonesia’s second largest city.  

05/16/2018 Indonesia (UCA News) – Christians in Indonesia’s second city Surabaya say the community is struggling to recover from shock and loss suffered following suicide attacks on three churches on May 13.

The attacks, carried out by members of a single family with links to the Islamic State group, initially killed 13 people and left scores injured. Some of the bombers included young children.

Another attack on police headquarters the following day by another family — including an 8-year-old girl — left at least four dead and 10 injured. Since then the death toll had risen to 25.

“Parishioners are still haunted by trauma,” said Fransiskus Xaverius Ping Tedja, security coordinator at the Santa Maria Church.

The Catholic-run church was the first one attacked and where at least six people lost their lives.

Despite the bombing church activities are still going as usual, including daily Mass, said Tedja.

“There has been an increase in the number of people attending Mass, because they want to pray together for the victims,” he said.

Rosalia Siswaty, an aunt of Aloysius Bayu Rendra Wardhana who was killed while trying to prevent the suicide bombers from entering the church said she and her family were very proud of her nephew’s actions.

“We are devastated by this incident, but we are also proud because he died saving many people,” she told ucanews.com.

Parish priest, Father Alexius Kurdo Irianto said the church is now focusing on providing assistance to the victim’s families.

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