Forty-one passengers of AirAsia Fight QZ8501, which crashed on Sunday with 162 people on board, were reportedly members of a single church in Indonesia, reports have said. The search for the bodies of the victims in the Java Sea meanwhile continues around much grief and tragedy.
The Straits Times reported on Thursday that the 41 Christians were members of the Mawar Sharon Church of Surabaya, part of one of the largest megachurches in the region, with 30,000 members.
A pastor at the church, Philip Mantofa, said that he was shocked to learn of the big loss to his parish. He urged relatives of the victims not to allow the tragedy to shake their faith. more >>
A young Korean family of Christian missionaries was among passengers on board AirAsia flight QZ8501 when it crashed on Sunday.
Park Seong-beom, 37, his wife, Lee Kyung-hwa, and their 11-month-old daughter, Park Yuna, relocated to Indonesia in September where they had been doing missionary work. They were teaching Korean and computer skills in the town of Malang, in the East Java province and were traveling to Singapore to renew their visas but sadly met their fatal end, according The Wall Street Journal.
On Tuesday, rescue workers found wreckage from the plane and recovered 40 bodies off of the coast of Borneo. The Airbus AIR.PA A320-200 had departed Surabaya en route to Singapore with 162 people on board, but 42 minutes into the flight it lost contact with air traffic control after experiencing bad weather conditions. more >>
AirAsia has confirmed that debris from Flight QZ8501 has been discovered in the Karimata Strait, south west of Pangkalan Bun in the Borneo province of Central Kalimantan. At least 40 bodies from the 162 passenger list have already been recovered, leaving grieving family members devastated.
"The warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 40 bodies and the number is growing. They are very busy now," an Indonesia navy spokesman said, according to Fox News.
AirAsia confirmed that the debris and the bodies, found six miles from the flight's last point of contact, are from the missing aircraft. more >>
Low-cost airline AirAsia confirmed late Saturday that it has lost contact with one of its flights travelling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people, including 17 children, aboard.
The Malaysian based company, which is heralded as a pioneer in the explosion of low cost air travel in Asia, said a search and rescue operation is currently underway.
"AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning," the company noted in a statement on Facebook. more >>
A new extremist group operating in Indonesia is going after women on the streets wearing tight pants and jeans and covering them in spray paint as a form of enforcement against violations of the Islamic law and the local law of the land.
The group, which calls itself Tadkiiratul Ummah and operates in the Indonesian province of Aceh, has recently began a new "moralization" campaign to make examples of women and men who are wearing what the group deems to be "too tight pants."
Asia News reports that the group is finding violators of the law and covering their pants in a permanent color spray. According to the group's spokesman, Teungku Nurdin Usman, the group's campaign of spray painting people wearing tight pants comes in response to local law enforcement failing to enforce the Iaw, which, among other things, prohibits women from wearing tight clothing. more >>
The nation with the largest Muslim population in the world has officially banned support for the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is responsible for mass killings of religious minorities in Iraq that has forced the U.S. government to respond with air strikes.
Indonesia, whose citizens comprise over 10 percent of the global Islamic population, recently announced the ISIS ban in response to ISIS recruiting efforts.