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Southeast Asian Catholics Persecuted

Trend of Islamist terrorism

March 30, 2021  0

Twenty people in Indonesia are injured after suicide bombers detonated themselves outside the cathedral during Palm Sunday Mass. The attack occurred in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province, outside Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral.

The two bombers, both dead, were believed to be members of Islamic State–inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah. One security source revealed the two, a male college student with a female partner, tried to enter the grounds on a motorbike.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo condemned the bombings: "I strongly condemn the terrorism act, and I have given instruction to the police chief to take down the terrorist network to the root."
 
DW News' Indonesia correspondent discussed what analysts are saying.

Prita Kusumaputri: "Many experts said that the explosion at the Catholic cathedral was not a new trend but rather a continuous and a disturbing trend in Indonesia."

That "disturbing trend" is not limited to Indonesia. In January 2019, over in the Philippines at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, two bombs killed 20 people and injured 102. A few months later, in April 2019, over in Sri Lanka, a series of coordinated Islamist suicide bombings targeted three churches on Easter Sunday, as well as three luxury hotels. Those attacks left almost 300 dead and injured more than 500 others.

The deadliest attack in Indonesia occurred in 2002 on the island of Bali: Bombers killed 202 people, who were mostly foreign tourists.

Described by the country's anti-terrorism agency as an act of terrorism, news of Palm Sunday's attack reached Rome quickly.

Pope Francis: "We pray for all the victims of violence — in particular, for those affected by the explosion this morning in front of the cathedral in Eastern Indonesia in the city of Makassar."

While the pope acknowledges victims of violence, he refuses to call out the Islamic State and other radical terrorists.

In 2016, he even claimed that it's "the world economy" that puts money over people which is the real "fundamental terrorism," driving people to commit such violence.

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