Indonesia: Suicide Bomber Attacks Packed Indonesian Church, Victims Respond … With Forgiveness
“Jakarta – A suicide bomber attacked a packed Indonesian church Sunday wounding at least 27 people, some critically, and sending terrified worshippers rushing out into the streets in panic.
The morning bombing in the city of Solo, in Central Java, was the latest in a spate of attacks on minority religious groups in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
Solo, a city of 500,000, is the home of militant Islamist spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir, who was jailed in June for 15 years for funding a terrorist group that was planning attacks against Westerners and political leaders.
Kristanto, a worshipper, said he and his wife were getting ready to leave at the end of the service at the Bethel Injil Church when the bomb rocked the building.
‘I was about to head home when a very loud explosion shocked me. A crowd of people from inside the church rushed to the streets,’ he told AFP.
‘They were screaming and very hysterical. The peaceful Sunday has quickly become a chaotic situation.'” Read more.
Victims of suicide attack respond by forgiving bomber – “… Paul Estabrooks with Open Doors says the reasons behind the attacks may be complicated, but essentially it’s a matter of Muslim extremist agendas. ‘The strong Muslim community — and especially the extremist group among them — wants to establish Sharia law throughout the island,’ explains Estabrooks. ‘They see the church as the biggest stumbling block in the way of their plan.’ … Believers are traumatized and in need of prayer for healing, but just two days later some are already responding with Christ’s grace. One of the injured victims, Hari Daniel Restono, told Open Doors that he forgives the bomber. ‘A young, 17-year-old injured victim of this terrible explosion says that he’s already forgiven the bomber because he thought that what he was doing was the right way to practice his religion,’ says Estabrooks. This kind of forgiveness may open doors to share Christ’s love and the message of salvation.” Read more.