At least 20 people were injured in a suspected suicide bomb attack outside a Catholic church in Makassar in eastern Indonesia on 28 March. Two individuals are believed to have been involved in the attack, which targeted the church as it was holding a Palm Sunday service ahead of Easter.
In a statement, Indonesia’s National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo told reporters that the attackers, who were the only two fatalities in the attack, were believed to have been members of the Islamic State-affiliated armed group Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD).
The JAD has previously claimed responsibility for co-ordinated attacks on three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, which took place in May 2018. The attacks left at least 13 people dead, and many more were injured.
In the aftermath of the attack, Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo promised an investigation, and called on Indonesian citizens “to fight against terror and radicalism, which go against religious values." Pope Francis also offered a prayer for the victims during a Palm Sunday service in the Vatican.
CSW’s Senior Analyst for East Asia Benedict Rogers said: “CSW condemns this horrific attack which appears to have been specifically intended to target Indonesia’s Christian community on a day of celebration. We wish all those injured in the attack a swift and full recovery, and our thoughts are with the entire community as it recovers from this trauma. From these attacks, it is clear that the religious intolerance we witnessed in 2018 has yet to be fully addressed, and that the JAD remain a serious threat. We therefore call on the Indonesian authorities to ensure a swift and thorough investigation into the attacks, ensuring that all those involved are brought to justice, and that such events are never repeated.”