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Faith After Bombing

May 17, 2020

WARNING:  Graphic Images

On May 13, 2018 suicide bombers detonated explosives at three Indonesian churches, killing 15 people and injuring many more [1A].

The churches targeted were St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, the Indonesia Christian Church, and the Surabaya Central Pentecostal Church.  According to Indonesian National Police, the bombs used were of a type known as “Mother of Satan”, the explosive of choice for ISIS.

Two years later, the injured continue to heal and the relatives of those murdered continue to mourn.  But their faith is indomitable.

Relatives of the 2018 Surabaya bombing victims, Author Surabaya Municipal Police, Source (PD as published by Govt. of the Republic of Indonesia per Article 43 of Law 28 of 2014 on Copyrights)

One survivor, Fenny Suryawati, requires help bathing, dressing, and in every other aspect of life.  She must wear loose-fitting gowns that do not cling to her fragile, burned skin, and must avoid physical contact of any kind.  She takes pain medication daily, and continues with physical therapy.

“Fenny [Suryawati]…admits it was difficult to overcome the initial shock and shame of her disfigurement.  She still works to overcome the fear and anxiety that confront her every time she leaves her home, but she has chosen to forgive those responsible…‘I am a woman who likes to surrender all to God and let Him arrange all for me.’”[1B]

Worst of all, is the loss of her two young sons.

“‘We…wanted to show that we love God, and when we love God, the less afraid we are of persecution happening in our life.  We must still love God…The Great Commission is our task.  We must share the gospel to other people so they can be saved, too.’” [1C]

-Pastor Yonathan Biantoro, Surabaya Central Pentecostal Church

Attendance the first Sunday following the bombings was a fraction of the normal 5000.  But at Surabaya Central Pentecostal, over 1000 people attended two services under large tents.  Since then, attendance has only grown.

Pastor Yonathan Biantoro asks for prayer for those who experienced trauma, for his congregation, and for those like the perpetrators that God will give them the grace to repent.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8: 28).

[1A, 1B, and 1C]  Voice of the Martyrs Magazine, November 2018, pp. 4-10, “The Day of the Bombings”.


  1. I remember that terrible incident…

  2. What a stark contrast to churches in our country Anna. Just a week ago we reopened our church, albeit with several conditions,one of which is masks must be worn. Several have said they will not attend until those conditions are removed.
    For weeks and weeks all I heard was people asking “when are we going back inside”? So it is that we allow a mask to keep us from worshipping the Lord,yet there are others who will worship no matter the cost.
    I could just weep over our lack of love for our Savior.

  3. tastybiteweb permalink

    Thank you for sharing this. ❤

  4. I remember that attack. Last week was also the anniversary of the 2017 suicide bombing here in Manchester, England, which killed 22 people, many of whom were children. It’s important to remember those still mourning the dead or living with injuries, as you say,

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