WCC condemns terror attacks on churches in Indonesia

By agency reporter
May 14, 2018

World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has condemned the suicide bombing attacks at three separate churches in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, on Sunday 13 May 2018.

The East Java police revealed that separate explosions had taken place at Santa Maria Tak Bercela Catholic Church, Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church and Surabaya Pentecostal Church in and around Surabaya. The death toll from the attacks has reportedly risen to 11 people, while at least 40 others have been injured.

Tveit offered “heartfelt condolences to the people who lost family members and friends.” 

“It is shocking that this attack was directed against people who were gathered for worship, and that this attack comes on the heels of ongoing violence and persecution”, Tveit said.

Tveit added, “In the face of this brutality, the human family, all people of faith and of good will, must stand together to recommit to respecting and caring for one another, to protecting one another, and to preventing such violence."

The WCC has appealed to Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia, to religious leaders and to governments across the region “to act swiftly and boldly to safeguard the fundamental religious rights of worshippers of all faiths, to ensure security in the face of violence and to guarantee justice for all people. Places of worship representing many different faith traditions have been targets of violence by extremists.“

Tveit said, “Government action must be matched by solidarity among Christians, Muslims and people of all faiths as they interact at the local level and together denounce any violent attack.”

Tveit called for prayers, urging the WCC fellowship and others across the world to remain steadfast in their quest for peace and justice for Christians and all who are persecuted.

“Through prayer, action and unity, we can bring a powerful force of love in the wake of terror and violence,” he said.

One of the churches attacked is a parish church of a WCC member church, Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church.

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* World Council of Churches https://www.oikoumene.org/en

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