3 Christian Indonesian Housewives Face 5 Years In Prison
for Conducting Sunday School Classes In Indonesia
This From The Worlds Largest (Supposedly Tolerant) Islamic Nation
You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.www.persecution.org.
(7/7/05) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org has become aware of the case of 3 Christian, Indonesian housewives (Mrs Rebecca Laonita Z, Mrs Rama Mala Bangun and Mrs Etty Pangesti) charged with the equivalent of child endangerment for conducting childrens Sunday school classes. These charges carry the possibility of a five year imprisonment.
The charges stem from three Sunday school lessons (Happy Week) held on 9/9/2003 and 12/24/2005, 3/26/2005. Luckily, the Indonesian government has stepped into the middle of this situation after the housewives subversive activities were discovered. These included, but were not limited to
– Coloring prominent Christian figures including Abraham, Noah, and Lazarus
– Singing Christian songs
– Telling stories and teaching a part of what is taken from the Bible (Gospel) about the Lord JESUS, etc.
– Teaching Christian prayers.
Superficially, these things dont seem terribly subversive. Thats because we havent told you the rest of the story. The housewives also
– Provided snacks and prizes like pencils for memorizing Bible verses.
– Gave the children a towel with a picture of Jesus, and a writing book with a picture of Noah.
– The women also took the children on field trips to a theme park, the Zoo, and a swimming pool.
– The children were given a blue sport shirt which had a cross on it and the logo of the church.
– One of the children, Yusliyah (13) was invited to attend a church service and one girl was loaned a Bible to read
Incredibly, most of the children attending the Sunday school lessons were Christians from the Church the housewives attended. Unfortunately, the Sunday school classes may have been too good, several of the Christian children invited their Muslim friends.
While all this may seem like a chapter from the book of the absurd, it is absolutely real, outrageous, and an affront to tolerant people of all faiths. The ladies are being charged with violation of Criminal Law Section 53, Clause (1), section 86 Law No. 23, 2002 Concerning the Protection of Children, Section 55 which says
Any person who purposely uses deception, lies or enticement to make a child choose another religion not of his own free will, . . ., will be prosecuted by imprisonment for five years and/or a fine of Rp.100.000.000 (one hundred million Rupiah).
Unfortunately, this incident reveals the mindset of many Indonesians of the worlds largest Muslim country. While the outworking of this mindset in this case will (potentially) harm only a few housewives, it was not so, for approximately 10,000 Christians who were murdered by Indonesian Muslims from 1998 to 2003. Or for 80,000 Christians who saw their homes burned to the ground, or for the congregations of 1,000 Christian churches that were destroyed by Muslim mobs.
ICC has toured many of these burned down villages and seen firsthand the destruction wrought by intolerance, hatred, and fear of those that are different. ICC is still assisting these victims of hate.
ICC requests that all concerned individuals who think the world has seen enough destruction and hatred due to religious intolerance to contact their Indonesian embassy to urge the Indonesian government to intervene in this court case so that it will not become a precedent for further persecution and oppression of religious minorities.
Indonesian Embassy US
2020 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel. – 202 – 775 – 5200;
Fax. 202 – 775 5365
Indonesian Embassy UK
Tel. (020) 7499 7661
Fax. (020) 7491 4993
Indonesian Embassy Canada
Post Mail: 55 Parkdale Avenue, Ottawa , Ontario
Phone: (613) 724-1100
Fax: (613) 724-1105
Indonesian Embassy Germany
Lehrter Str. 16-17 10557
Berlin , Germany
Tel: 49-30-4780- 70
Fax: 49-30-4473- 7142
Indonesian Embassy Switzerland
Indonesia Embassy Elfenauweg 51,
Tel. (031) 352.0983, 352.0984
Fax. (031) 351.6765