Indonesia ahead of Easter after church bombing | Indonesia News

Makassar and Medan, Indonesia – All Christian communities in Indonesia are pushing for more attacks before East Sunday Suicide bombing Christian Holy Week kicks off on Palm Sunday Makassar’s Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, Sulawesi

“We invite all Catholic and Protestant congregations in Indonesia and around the world to pray for Indonesians who are facing challenges, including terrorism and the EOSD-20 epidemic.” Robinson Butterbutter, head of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) in Indonesia, told Al Jazeera after the attack.

“Let us reflect on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ as we continue our work to bring love and peace to all Indonesian people. We ask the congregations to increase their surveillance before the Easter season and to work with local authorities and the Indonesian police. “

Christians are considered a minority group in Indonesia, where about 87% of the population is Muslim. Indonesia has about 23 million Christians out of a population of 270 million.

There is a history of attacks on places of worship in Indonesia, including the 2000 church bombings just before Christmas, which targeted the cities of Sumatra and Batam in the Riau Islands, just south of Singapore, including the capital Jakarta. The extremist group Jemaah Islamia (JI), which was also responsible for the 2002 sand bombings.

In 2018, three churches in the city of Surabaya were attacked by suicide bombers from the Jamaa Ansarut Doula (JAD), killing 28 people. The suicide bombers included a husband and wife and their three children, the youngest of whom was nine years old.

Nur Huda Ismail, a former member of the radical group Darul Islam, who has founded the International Peace Building Institute and is conducting degradation programs and workshops across Indonesia, told Al Jazeera that “the party is not over yet” and that the recent events The attacks will continue from April 12 in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A suspected attack on the national police headquarters in Jakarta has further escalated tensions following a cathedral bombing in Makassar, Indonesia, last Sunday. [Willy Kurniawan/Reuters]

Although Ramadan is seen as a peaceful month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, Huda said extremist groups want to “hijack” Islamic history where the Prophet conducted campaigns or wars during Ramadan.

According to Islamic history, the conquest of Mecca in 2922 and the battle of Badr in 622 were fought by the Prophet in the month of Ramadan.

Wednesday, police An assailant was shot dead in a blue headscarf entering the national police headquarters Brands a handgun in Jakarta.

Protected by guards

Many churches on the archipelago already employ security guards, with the local police providing additional support during major holidays on the Christian calendar, such as Easter and Christmas.

One such private security guard stationed at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar is now being hailed as a hero after two suicide bombers on motorcycles stopped him from entering the cathedral grounds.

“Cosmos was hit in the body and was ringing in his ears,” said one of the priests of the cathedral, who had just performed the morning mass and was sitting in his room at the time of the attack.

“Cosmos is not the main protector of our church, but he always helps during huge celebrations. His father was a security guard at the church before him. ”

Tulak told Al Jazeera that the 51-year-old was watching the two on a motorcycle in front of the south gate of Cosmos Church. When the motorbike approached, Cosmos told the driver that he was not being allowed to enter the church grounds.

“Unfortunately, that was when the bomb exploded,” Tulak added.

Armin Hari was about 300 meters (984 feet) away from the explosion, waiting for the results of a Quid-19 rapid swab test at a local clinic when he heard that he had originally given the wrong idea for the transformer explosion.

He then told Al Jazeera, “Then I heard people around me panicking and saying something about the bomb.” Armin says he saw teeth scattered on the ground and looking like deformed limbs. “I think it was the liver and some lungs, or something like that,” he said

The blast injured 19 people and killed the suspected suicide bomber, believed to be a married couple seven months ago.

Indonesia’s National Police Chief Listio Sigit Prabo also said the attackers were part of the Jamaat Ansarut Doula (JD) network, which the United States declared a terrorist organization in 2017 and was banned in Indonesia in 2018.

A former member of the JD, speaking on condition of anonymity, who was part of the group in West Java, told Al Jazeera that the JD is a branch of the ISIS (ISIS) group.

Police protect area around Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral after Sunday’s bombing [Eko Rusdianto/Al Jazeera]

“Simply put, the JAD ideology means that you support Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and promise to follow all directions from ISIS leaders. You are taught to be an enemy against infidels and all rulers who do not want to apply Islamic law. According to ISIS, this is the perfect religion. ”

He added: “The attack on the church in Makassar followed a similar pattern to the church attack in Surabaya in 2018. When I was a member of the JAD, I was also ordered to monitor a temple in Surabaya and plan an attack there. However, there were many obstacles to the plan. That’s why it fell. Places of worship have become a favorite target of the JAD because they are poorly protected and are more likely to have civilian casualties than police or military targets. “

“We are not afraid at the moment because we have a caring and harmonious community around us. I will request this Easter.

“We want to keep our brothers and sisters safe at this time. We hope we can still pray together, we are human too

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