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Bombing at Saddleback Sister Church in Indonesia Injures Dozens

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By Luiza Oleszczuk, Christian Post Reporter
September 26, 2011|10:28 am

A suicide bomber blew himself up Sunday at a church connected to Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in southern California, injuring at least 27 people leaving a worship service at Bethel Full Gospel Church.

The bombing at Bethel Full Gospel Church (also known Sepenuh Injil Bethel Church) took place while hundreds of worshipers were leaving at the end of the Sunday service.

Indonesian authorities currently suspect the suicide bomber may have been involved in a previous bombing at a mosque in April.

Officials indicate that the bomber may possibly be Achmed Yosepa Hayat, who is wanted for his role in a suicide attack that wounded 30 people at a mosque in Cirebon.

Bethel Full Gospel Church is in the hometown of radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who is considered the spiritual leader behind the regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, according to the Voice of America.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a statement after the attack.

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"I, on behalf of the government and the state strongly condemned this terror act, this extraordinary crime which was indiscriminate that happened again in our country," he said.

The Sunday bombing was the fourth one in the country this year.

It also follows a string of clashes between worshipers of Indonesia's dominant Islam, and Christians. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.

Back in August, suspected Islamists burned three homes used as churches on Sumatra Island's Riau Province. Muslim mobs burned the meeting places of a Batak Karo Protestant Church (GBKP) congregation, a facility of the Pentecostal Church in Indonesia (GPDI), as well as one belonging to the Methodist Church of Indonesia, all in Kuantan Singingi district.

Earlier, in February, 1,500 Muslim militants attacked and set on fire two churches in Temanggung, Java. They also ransacked a third one.The reason behind that event was that the mob was furious that a Christian man had not been given the death penalty in a court appearance for insulting Islam.

In a "Purpose Driven Network Alert" published on his Facebook page and Twitter account, Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., alerted followers to the attack in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He wrote: "Purpose Driven Network Alert: Our sister church in Solo City, Indonesia, Bethel Full Gospel Church, has just been bombed."

 

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