Sunday, August 20, 2006

Islamic Tolerance - Indonesia

From Indonesia; Ailing Evangelist Abused In Indonesia Prison, Group Says
JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BosNewsLife) -- An ailing Christian evangelist serving a four-year prison sentence in Indonesia's West Java province for allegedly defaming Islam has been abused in jail by Muslim militants, Christian investigators said Thursday, August 17.

The UK and Ireland branch of Open Doors, which investigates Christian persecution, said Abraham 'Abe' Bentar, 55, was attacked by Muslims including 'visitors' attempting to reconvert him to his former Islamic beliefs.

Speaking in the Tasikmalaya prison in West Java province, the evangelist was quoted as saying he is battling discouragement and fear. "When Open Doors visited him, it took a while before he recognized us and agreed to meet with us because he has received several unwanted 'visitors' who would usually rough him up," Open Doors UK and Ireland told BosNewsLife.

"I have been abused many times. I have lost six teeth because of that," Evangelist Abraham said in published remarks. The attacks added to other ailments, including his apparent recovery from a stroke that impaired his right arm. He also still struggles with high blood pressure and diabetes, Christians said.


"Because of the medicines and food brought by his wife Waty, 36, and a local church, he manages well. Visits from his wife are difficult though because the only way she can visit him is by making a long and costly overnight bus journey," Open Doors UK and Ireland claimed.

He was sentenced May 17 for defaming Islam and its 'prophet' Muhammad, charges human rights groups say are often used by Muslim leaders and militants to halt the spread of Christianity in the world’s largest Muslim nation, particularly in areas such as West Java.

Elsewhere in West Java, three Sunday School teachers – Dr Rebekka Zakaria, Eti Pangesti and Ratna Bangun – are serving a three-year prison sentence in Indramayu State Prison, for allegedly forcibly converting Muslim children, accusations the women have strongly denied.

But one year into their sentence "the three ladies have been a great testimony to the other 12 women prisoners with their quiet trust and faith in God. There was much unrest in the women’s sections of the prison before Rebekka, Eti and Ratna arrived, but all the women now get on well," said Open Doors UK and Ireland, citing its own investigation.
There is more. Read it all and learn how Christians forgive their persecutors.

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