ROME — Pope Francis called on Christians to pray for the victims of the Palm Sunday suicide bombing at a Christian church in Indonesia, which wounded at least 20 worshipers.
“Let us pray for all the victims of violence, in particular the victims of this morning’s attack in Indonesia, in front of the Cathedral of Makassar,” the pontiff said, following his weekly Angelus message delivered in Saint Peter’s Basilica following his Palm Sunday Mass.
As Breitbart News reported, two terrorists blew themselves up outside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar, capital of Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, at 10:30am local time, just as worshipers were filing out of the church at the start of Holy Week.
Two persons on a motorcycle had attempted to enter the church building but were turned away by security guards, at which point they detonated their explosives. Police later said both assailants were killed instantly from the blast and that evidence indicated that one of the two was a woman.
“We see that there are victims and parts of human bodies have been torn apart. We do not know yet whether they are from the perpetrator or from the people who were close by,” South Sulawesi police spokesman E. Zulpan told journalists.
A spokesman for the national police, Inspector General Argo Yuwono, said the wounded suffered from injuries around their necks, chests, and legs, noting that some had blisters on their hands and feet.
Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week, commemorates Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem days before his Last Supper, Passion and crucifixion.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo was swift to call Sunday’s attack an “act of terrorism” while urging the public to remain calm.
“I strongly condemn the act of terrorism and I have ordered the police chief to thoroughly investigate the perpetrators’ networks and expose the network to its roots,” Widodo said.
“Terrorism is a crime against humanity and has nothing to do with any religion,” he declared. “All religious teachings reject terrorism.”
“For the victims who were injured, we pray that they are given a speedy recovery and the state guarantees all medical expenses and care for the victims,” he said.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombings of Christian churches by Muslim extremists are not uncommon in Indonesia, the nation with the world’s highest Muslim population.
Indonesian police chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo told reporters that one of the bombers has been identified as part of a group involved in a terror attack in the Philippines in 2018.