Devastated Surabaya Churches Begin Recovery Process

ICC Note: Two of the three churches attacked by suicide bombers in Surabaya have begun reconstruction work. They also vowed to help those who suffered loss and are still experiencing trauma. The death toll from the Surabaya attacks has risen to 25, after another attack on the city police headquarters took place the following day.
05/17/2018 Indonesia (UCA News) – Two of three churches attacked by suicide bombers in Indonesia’s second city Surabaya have begun reconstruction work, and upped efforts to help those who survived the atrocities to overcome lingering trauma.

The third church was still cordoned off on May 16 as police forensic teams were still examining the scene.

Repair work on the Catholic Santa Maria Church — the first to be attacked — began the day after the May 13 bombing with the focus on repairing the minaret, the main door, wall and windows at the front of the building.

“We expect the work to be completed sometime this week,” parish priest Father Alexius Kurdo Irianto told ucanews.com.

In addition to physical recovery, the church is also focused on efforts to help victims recover from emotional trauma.

Father Kurdo and the parish council have visited all the victims still hospitalized and their families.

“I’m so impressed that in spite of all this they accept what has happened and want to forgive the terrorists,” he said.

The priest said the church has agreed to help the victims, including financially supporting children whose parents died, including those of Aloysius Bayu Rendra Wardhana who was killed trying to prevent the bombers from entering the church.

At Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church, repairs began on May 15, soon after the police finished its investigation at the blast site.

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