Bomb Explosion in Makassar, Indonesia on Palm Sunday

Bomb Explosion in Makassar, Indonesia on Palm Sunday

From Global Ministries mission co-worker, Karen Campbell-Nelson

Karen Campbell Nelson

At about 10.30 a.m. on Palm Sunday, an explosion, thought to have been a bomb, occurred in front of a Catholic cathedral in the city of Makassar on the southern tip of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Tens of worshippers who were injured were rushed to local hospitals, and reports suggest there were body parts of two people, thought to have been suicide bombers. Indonesia has a history of violent extremism and although major pro-ISIS organization in Indonesia appear to have weakened, new cells continue to emerge

I share a message that GMIT Moderator, Rev. Dr. Mery Kolimon, issued not long after news of the bombing broke on social media. She writes from a context where religious and ethnic suspicions can quickly escalate into violence and, in the past, have caused long-standing communal armed conflict.

This attack is not on a particular religion or group.
This terror is an effort to attack a pluralistic Indonesia.
Don’t be trapped by the terrorists’ effort to instill fear.
It’s not necessary to forward photos and videos showing body parts.
All of that is just intended to spread fear and panic.
Come on, let’s work hand in hand to keep Indonesia strong, peaceful, and safe.
Let’s support the security forces in their work to thoroughly investigate the perpetrators and their motives.
Let’s spread a positive message that we are not afraid of terror.
Send prayers and solidarity to the people of Makassar City.
Come on, all Indonesian citizens, we must condemn terror and violence.
Don’t tolerate violence. Don’t be afraid either.
Together we protect our nation.
Christ taught us not to return evil with evil.
Look at the King who enters Jerusalem on a young donkey.
The gospel story about the Prince of Peace
becomes a guide amidst the rage of wrath and hatred,
in the midst of terror and fear.
Let’s close ranks to protect our Indonesia
on the basis of Christ’s teachings of love.

Happy Palm Sunday.


A response to Indonesian partners from Global Ministries:

We are indeed sad and shocked to hear about the act of terror at a catholic church in Makassar on March 28, 2021. We pray for those injured and for the people of Makassar who are affected by this event. We also pray that God may grant courage and strength to the churches and Christian communities in Indonesia at this time of terror.

Rev. Dr. Julia Brown Karimu and Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompon, co-executives of Global Ministries, join me in expressing our solidarity with the member churches in PGI and all others in Indonesia as you hold on to your faith and the vocation of peace and forgiveness in the face of aggression. We want to assure you of our prayers for peace and goodwill among all – Christian and Muslim brothers and sisters.

These events once again underline the phenomenon of increasing religious intolerance in many parts of the world. We also want to assure you all that the Global Ministries will continue to work with the churches and people’s initiatives in Indonesia for a just and inclusive Indonesia and in repairing these breaches, and celebrate the triumph of life over these forces of death.

We believe we are called to witness to God’s unconditional love for all people as an expression of our faithfulness to God. “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14: 19).

In solidarity and with prayers.

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Deenabandhu Manchala
Area Executive, Southern Asia