05/17/2018, 16.12
INDONESIA
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Christians mourn victims of Surabaya church attacks

by Mathias Hariyadi

Nathanael, 8, and his elder brother Vincentius Evan, 12, the children who died in the attack against St Mayr Immaculate Catholic Church, were laid to rest. Their seriously injured mother took part in the service on a stretcher. "We forgive those responsible," said Kurnianto, son of another victim. The Pentecostal community remembers the sacrifice of Daniel, who died trying to stop an attacker’s van.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesian Christians have joined in mourning the families of the victims of the attacks against three Christian churches in Surabaya (East Java).

In the last few hours, funerals and memorial services have been held for those who lost their lives in the suicide attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS) and carried out four days ago by a terrorist family.

The funeral (picture 2) of Nathanael, 8, and his elder brother Vincentius Evan, 12, was held the other day. The two died in the attack against St Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Surabaya’s Ngagel neighbourhood. Their mother, Wenny Angelina, suffered serious wounds and was taken to hospital, where she remains closely monitored by medical staff.

With other family members, mother and children had just gotten out of the car driven by the father, when the terrorists set off the bomb in front of the parish church. Evan died instantly. Nathanael succumbed hours later in hospital where he was supposed to undergo surgery to amputate a leg.

The doctors allowed Wendy to say goodbye to her two sons before they were buried (pictures 3-4). She took part in the service on a stretcher, taking drugs and fluids through a drip feed.

The doctors allowed her to leave the hospital for only four hours because she is still very ill and needs to be closely monitored.

"We forgive those responsible. My mother is now in the house of the Lord,” said Kurnianto, the son of another victims. With his family, Kurnianto arrived in the city the day after the attacks to collect the body of his mother Lim and bring her back to Tangerang (Banten), where the family comes from.

She was in town on business and, although her hotel was closer to the cathedral, a target of a failed attack, she decided to go to Sunday Mass at St Mary Parish Church.

“This was perhaps God's plan,” her son said. “She had decided to go to the church in Ngagel, which, according to what people say, is one of the oldest in Surabaya".

CCTV camera footage shows that, at the time of the explosion, Lim was close to the suicide bombers' motorcycle when it blew up at the entrance to the place of worship.

"On behalf of my mother, I apologise if she made mistakes during her life. Please pray for her now that she is in heaven,” he said.

“My message is: please do not judge any religion because no religion asks the faithful to do bad things. God help Indonesia," he added.

For its part, the Pentecostal community mourned Daniel, a teenager who on the morning of the attacks was helping his father steer worshipper to park their cars near church.

He and a security agent, Giricatur, lost their lives trying to block an attacker’s minivan when he tried to drive into the church compound. Although it did not get in, the blast still killed many people.

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