Palm Sunday is a time of joy and celebration for Christians around the world as we celebrate Christ's arrival in Jerusalem. But it is also a time of vulnerability and risk for Christians; a time when the nature of the celebrations means that Christians have increased visibility and when churches become targets for attack.
A year ago, on Palm Sunday 2021, suicide bombers attacked worshippers on their way home from a Palm Sunday service in Makassar, Indonesia. The bombers – believed to be affiliated to Islamic State – died on the spot, while 20 worshippers were injured.
Karina (20) and Valeria (21) were among those injured in the blast.
“I was confused because I didn’t know what explosion this was,” said Karina. “I was confused why my face and hair were burned. I saw a lot of blood coming out my leg.”
Valeria was struck by shrapnel and had to undergo immediate surgery. Open Doors has been supporting the victims throughout their recovery.
"Our hope is that this kind of incident that we have experienced will not happen ever again in the future, because it is very traumatic,” Valeria says. “Please, no more persecution between religious communities.”
So, at the start of Holy Week, please would you join us in praying for protection for Christians at this special time.
Today, all around the world, Christians will be gathering for services and processions, making public statements of their faith.
We remember the joy of that day when You rode into Jerusalem.
Please give courage and joy to all those in countries where Christians are marginalised or attacked, yet who still dare to proclaim today that You are Messiah, Christ, the Son of the living God.
And for those who cannot openly speak the truth about You – may the stones cry out, may their lives shout as loud as any crowd, that You are the one who saves.
Protect Your family, Lord, we pray.
Looking for more ways to pray?
Check out our Church Resources hub which has a wide range of videos, prayers and service resources, including prayer resources for Easter celebrations.
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Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.