Prayer for Peace amidst violence in Surabaya
The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) condemned the bomb blasts, including a suicide bombing that targeted three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya on Sunday 13 May, in which 14 people were killed and more than 40 people wounded.
Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary of the CCA, expressed deep condolences to the victims of families and stated that the attack carried out against worshiping communities during Sunday services is a heinous crime, which is not justifiable by any religion.
Three separate explosions had taken place at Santa Maria Tak Bercela Catholic Church (STMB), Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church (GKI), and Surabaya Pentecostal Church (GPPS) in and around Surabaya.
While recollecting the reputed history of Indonesia’s tradition of nurturing tolerance, harmony and unity among people and communities, irrespective of religious, ethnic and cultural divisions or identities, the CCA General Secretary said “the attacks on churches in Surabaya are deliberate attempts by forces of evil in Indonesia that aim at destroying the country’s long nurtured and cherished values of religious harmony and the foundation of the long-cherished ‘Pancasila’ principles, which accept religious pluralism and call for unity in diversity.”
The CCA General Secretary appreciated the response by the leadership of Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI), conveying messages to its member churches and congregations, urging them to stay calm in the face of violence and reminding them that members of the Christian communities must leave the responsibilities of handling the situation to the government.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country which has been considered as a tolerant Islamic nation for a long time, has seen a recent resurgence in militancy, religious extremism and terrorism. However, the current Indonesian government demonstrates its commitment to promote religious tolerance and combat violence, religious extremism and terrorism.