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12/11/2023 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) — International Christian Concern (ICC) staff recently visited a 74-year-old Christian man serving his second prison sentence.  

In late 2020, Apollinaris Darmawan was sentenced to a maximum of five years under blasphemy laws by the Bandung District Court. The Court fined him about 800 million rupiahs (about $50,000) for “disseminating information aimed at causing hatred or dissension on individuals and certain groups of community based on ethnic groups, religions, races, and inter-groups.” 

Local ICC staff in Indonesia visited Darmawan in prison to encourage him and learn more about his health and well-being. Darmawan is now 74 years old, and despite three years in prison, he looked strong and healthy. He stays healthy by walking more than three kilometers inside the prison grounds daily.  

Darmawan still fervently believes his challenge of Islamic teaching is the truth according to his faith in Jesus Christ.  

In 2017, he was sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam and was freed in March 2020 because he received COVID-19 assimilation (to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19). 

Then, in August 2020, Bandung police arrested Apollinaris Darmawan after he was accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad and Islam on social media. This is his second arrest, the first coming in 2017. Darmawan has regularly been critical of Islamic teachings on social media.  

ICC is exploring other options to support Darmawan during his prison stay and advocate for his legal situation. Please pray that there will be peace, religious tolerance, and respect for one another in Indonesia. 

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