|Good Friday Bombing of Catholic Cathedral by Terrorists Thwarted|
|Written by Sherry|
|Saturday, 23 April 2011 10:55|
A terrorist cell associated with Al Qeada planned to bomb a Catholic Cathedral outside Jakarta during Good Friday services by placing a bomb under the gas lines. Other bombs were found in bags near the cathedral entrance. Altogether 9 bombs were uncovered and defused. Incredibly, the terrorists also planned to film the explosion and resulting inferno and broadcast it.
Indonesian police uncovered and stopped the plot on Holy Thursday and arrested 20 suspects, one of whom was a TV news cameraman.
Christianity has been growing rapidly in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world. In 1910, only 1.4% of the Indonesian population was Christian. Today over 12% are Christian. Jakarta is the epicenter. When we were there in 2002, little evangelical churches filled stripmalls throughout the city.
The Portuguese brought Roman Catholicism to Indonesia in the 16th century and Dutch traders brought Protestant Christianity in the 17th century. There was some missionary effort and the Dutch Bible Society translated the Bible into Malay. However, the Dutch were primarily interested in the economic exploitation of Indonesia and forbade all missionary work among Muslim peoples until 1855.
In the 19th century, the evangelical movement in Europe mobilised new missionaries to Indonesia. Whole ethnic groups turned to Christ from their traditional religions. Nowhere else in the world has so large a Christian community been established in the midst of Islam. The 29 million Christians of Indonesia are second only to the Philippines in south-east Asia. The majority of Indonesian Christians, including Catholics, are ethnic Chinese.
Violence between Muslims splinter groups and Christians has been common for years but this would have been a dramatic escalation. Let's add the Catholics and all Christians in Indonesia to our prayers this Easter.