March 29, 2021


For Christians, Palm Sunday is supposed to be a day of celebration as the Easter holiday draws near. However, for people in Indonesia, it turned out to be a nightmare. Two members of the Islamic State blew themselves up in front of a Catholic Church in the nation.

The bombing occurred during the Palm Sunday Mass at the Roman Catholic Church on Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. The incident wounded 20 people, while the two bombers died with the bombs strapped to their bodies.

The Palm Sunday Bombing

Rev. Wilhelmus Tulak concluded his service on Sunday when he heard a loud bang outside of his chapel. The bombing occurred at 10:30 am. The first group of people were just departing the service.

The Palm Sunday bombing could have been much deadlier but the two Islamic State members weren’t able to get into the Catholic Church. But the bombers were denied entrance thanks to the security guards outside of the church.

The security guards thought the terrorists looked suspicious, and they denied them from entering the church. At this point, the terrorists detonated their bombs and blew themselves up. Evidence from the scene made officials believe that one of the bombers was a female.

Twenty people were wounded, and this total included the four guards who risked their lives to save the lives of the people in the church.

The Terror Organization

The two bombers are not believed to be members of ISIS. Indonesia’s National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo told the press that the findings indicated that they were members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah. This is a terror group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this is not the first time the group has taken responsibility for church bombings. In 2018, this organization bombed multiple Indonesian churches.

Pope Francis dedicated the end of his Palm Sunday service in the Vatican towards the victims of the Indonesian bombing.

Christians in Indonesia

Christians were on high alert in Indonesia at the beginning of Holy Week because the country has a very high percentage of Muslim terror organizations and members. Indonesia has been experiencing religious terror activities since 2002.

There have been countless attacks in the past decade targeting churches and the government. One of the bombers on Sunday is connected to a past attack in the Philippines. The other could have been as well, but this is not confirmed.

One of the terrorists was part of a 2019 attack when 23 people were killed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral.
Both bombers were part of the terror organization, where some members were arrested on Jan. 6 in Makassar. The police shot and killed two people and captured 19 who were part of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah.

This is the first major attack since 2018, when a series of related suicide bombings occurred in the nation. A dozen people were killed, including two young girls. Two families carried out the bombings, and the parents strapped bombs to the young girls to sneak past security.

Nobody has been pronounced dead. Twenty people are in the hospital, and many are in critical condition.

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