Voice of the Persecuted contacts in Indonesia are sending in reports that 4 children were wounded after a suspected terrorist threw molotov cocktails at the Oikumene Church in the city of Samarinda around 10am following the Sunday service. The injured children were immediately rushed to a hospital for treatment. Samarinda is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
Witnesses said a man passing on a motorbike threw a bag containing molotov cocktails that caused the explosion. The bombing is also reported to have caused damage to motorbikes in the parking lot.
Police have arrested the man, named Joh, alias Jo Juhanda Aceng Kurnia bin Muhammad, 32, who threw who explosives. He was also wearing a t-shirt with the word ‘jihad’ on it. The man had been staying at a mosque in the village Sengkotek, near Church Oikumene.
In 2012, the suspect had been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for terrorist bombings of the Research Center for Science and Technology in Tangerang in 2011. He was released in 2014. Indonesian news sources report Juhana had joined the group Jemaah Ansyarut Tauhid (JAT) established by Abubakar Ba’asyir—convicted of terrorism cases that have been pledged to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
Their is much concern about the rapid rise of radicalism with a large number of Islamic State sympathizers in Indonesia—the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.
In August, an 18-year-old attacked a church in Medan and stabbed a Catholic priest after the bomb he was carrying failed to detonate.
Indonesian authorities started a multi-agency deradicalisation effort to reach the young and prevent early indoctrination of extremism, particularly from members of domestic terror groups loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
President Joko Widodo said of the Church Oikumene attack, “I have ordered the police chief to take firm action and thoroughly investigate the perpetrator” .
Please pray for Christians in Indonesia. They are asking the Lord to reveal His glory to them and their attackers.