Despite tight security and fears of further deadly attacks, defiant Christians in Surabaya flocked to services and Masses on May 20 – Pentecost Sunday – according to church officials.
Christians at the Santa Maria Catholic Church and Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church held services in their church buildings which were attacked by suicide bombers on May 13. Meanwhile, members of the Surabaya Pentecostal Church, which suffered the most damage, held services in a large tent. Twelve Christians were killed during the attacks, committed by members of the same Muslim family.
Church officials told on May 20 that Christians prayed as usual, while fully-armed police and military personnel stood guard outside.
Those entering the churches were thoroughly searched and had to pass through a metal detector.
Father Alexius Kurdo Irianto, parish priest at the Santa Maria Church, said he did not see any decline in church attendance during Mass.