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ICC Note: Reverend Abraham Ben Moses, a protestant pastor is accused of trying to convert his taxi driver to Christianity. For that, he became the first Christian cleric to face blasphemy charge, filed by the second largest Islamic organization in the country. He could face up to five years in prison. The Protestant Church has provided him with a lawyer. Between 2005 and 2014, at least 106 people were prosecuted and convicted under blasphemy laws. The regulations are often used to target religious minorities in the country. 

12/13/2017 Indonesia (UCA News) –A Protestant pastor is facing a possible prison term in Indonesia after being named as a suspect in a blasphemy case.

It is the first time a Christian cleric has been accused of blasphemy in the predominantly Muslim country, religious leaders say.

Reverend Abraham Ben Moses, 52, has been detained at a Jakarta police station for more than a week following his arrest at his home in Tangerang, Banten province.

He was arrested after a video featuring a conversation involving him and a taxi driver went viral on social media.

In the video, Rev. Moses is heard quoting the Quran on marriage and claiming that the Prophet Muhammad was inconsistent with his teachings. He is also heard asking the taxi driver to convert to Christianity.

“We are still questioning him and witnesses and gathering evidence,” Ariwibawa Anggakusuma, a spokesman for the police cybercrime unit, told on Dec. 12.

“He could face more than five years imprisonment,” he said.

Members of Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, filed a police complaint against Rev. Moses on Dec. 8.

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