An Indonesian court sentenced a Protestant pastor by the name of Rev. Abraham Ben Moses to four years in prison with a heavy fine equivalent to $3,565 on Monday for sharing his faith with a taxi driver.
Rev. Abraham Ben Moses, was formerly a well known and reputable Muslim apologist. Moses, who was arrested last December, was detained after a video was widely circulated that showed him sharing his faith with a Muslim taxi driver.
According to Voice of the Martyrs, Moses can be heard in the video speaking about the Muslim prophet Muhammad and his teaching on marriage. In the video, he is also reportedly shown asking the driver to accept Christ.
Because of the video, Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations, filed a blasphemy complaint against Moses.
The presiding judge, Muhammad Damis, stated that Moses was convicted under an Electronic and Information Transactions Law on grounds that he spread information that was intended to incite hatred on the basis of religion.
In the list of 50 most persecuted countries in the world, Indonesia ranks 38th.
In a video testimony shared by Voice of the Martyrs earlier this week, Moses stated from prison that the “strength that I get is from Jesus who strengthens me. He is a very good friend. He never leaves us. His promise is ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen,'” Moses said through his translator. “He will take care of you and your whole family.”
Open Doors USA, which is a prominent persecution watchdog organization, reports that the situation for Christians in the past several years in Indonesia has “deteriorated.”
“This is especially true in hot spots like West Java, where radical Islamic groups are powerful, exerting heavy influence on society and politics,” Open Doors warns. “These radical groups cause problems for churches that proselytize Muslims and often pressure government officials to ignore applications for construction of church buildings. Meanwhile, converts from Islam usually face persecution from their own families, particularly in the form of isolation and verbal abuse.”