Indonesia: Pope prays for victims of attacks on churches; WCC condemns

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Indonesia: Pope prays for victims of attacks on churches; WCC condemns

zenit.org and zenoikoumene.org

Pope Francis on May 13, 2018, called for prayers for the victims of suicide bombers who attacked three churches in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya. His comments came after praying the noonday Regina Coeli with a crowd estimated at 45,000 in St. Peter Square.

“I’m particularly close to the dear people of Indonesia, especially to the Christian communities of the city of Surabaya, harshly stricken by the grave attack against places of worship,” the Holy Father said. “I elevate my prayer for the victims and their kin. We invoke together the God of peace so that He will make these violent actions cease and in the heart of all room be found for sentiments — not of hatred and violence — but of reconciliation and fraternity. We pray in silence.”

In another development, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has condemned the terror attacks on churches in Indonesia, calls for end to violence

WCC General Secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the suicide bombing attacks at three separate churches in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, on Sunday, May 13.

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."

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

Sun, 05/13/2018 - 16:22
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