Surabaya Remembers Victims of 2018 Church Suicide Bombings
05/14/2019 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – A year has passed since Indonesia experienced one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent history. On May 13, 2018, a radicalized family of six, including their young children, blew themselves up at the Santa Maria Catholic Church and two other protestant churches in Surabaya during Sunday morning services, killing over a dozen congregants and wounding many more.
On Monday, several hundred people from different faiths gathered at the Santa Maria church to commemorate and pray for the victims who lost their lives in the devastating Church bomb attacks carried out by IS-linked terrorists last year.
Desmonda, a Christian woman who survived last year’s bombings told Agence France-Presse, “I have learned to move on and not be traumatized by the attacks because that’s what they (terrorists) want.”
East Java Police public communication officer Grand Commissioner Frans Barung Mangera told Indonesian media that this event is held to help Surabaya residents not fear terror. “We must unite again so that we will not be susceptible to ideologies that hurt the nation’s security,” he said.
For some, however, the road to recovery has not been easy. Rachmat Harjono Tengadi, a 56-year-old was struck by shrapnel after a mother and her two young daughters, dressed in body covering burqa veils, blew themselves up outside the church, said, “It’s hard to overcome the trauma even though it has been a year.”
“Even now if I see somebody wearing a black burqa, my heart feels sick,” Tengadi added.
Tengadi’s church did not hold a special memorial on Monday’s anniversary over fears it could be painful for congregants.
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