Churches hit by horrific attacks in Indonesia

Our brothers and sisters in Indonesia urgently need our prayer – after a family with children launched suicide attacks on three churches in Surabaya city yesterday.

A woman is believed to have blown up herself and two daughters in an attack on one church. Within minutes, her husband had driven his car into another, while their teenage sons on a motorbike detonated a bomb outside a third. The youngest of the children was nine.

At least 13 people died and more than 40 others were wounded in the three attacks. Our partners report that one man who lost both his sons and his wife is in a critical condition.

Please pray for all those who are injured or in mourning in Surabaya following yesterday’s attacks.

The attacks were timed to coincide with Sunday services and occurred within ten minutes of one another. Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In a second attack this morning, a family of five, including an eight-year-old child, carried out a bomb attack on a police station in Surabaya, killing at least four people. It is thought the child survived.
  • Please ask God to comfort and heal survivors and mourners: thank Him that He is close to those who mourn (Psalm 34:18).
  • Pray that Islamist militants in Indonesia will become weary of bloodshed and sickened by the death cult that they have joined. Ask God to give them a hunger for a new life and pray they will find that new life in Him. (See more on our #Pray50campaign below.)
  • Pray that the Government will heed calls for greater security at churches, amid a worrying increase in militant activity in Indonesia in recent years.

(Sources: BBC, Release partners, Reuters)


UPDATES
Please continue to pray for our Iranian sister, Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, who was back in court last week for an appeal hearing. Shamiram is appealing against a five-year sentence, while her husband, Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, is appealing against a ten-year sentence. A further hearing for Shamiram’s appeal is expected soon. (Source: Middle East Concern)

And please also remember our American brother, Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey and facing serious charges including terrorist links. At a hearing last week, many local church leaders, as well as US officials, attended to hear Andrew and his lawyer give a ‘very strong and articulate’ defence. The next hearing is scheduled for July 18.(Source: Middle East Concern)