Indonesia - Christian Women Found Guilty of Christianising Muslim Children

Three Christian women charged with violating Indonesia’s 2002 Child Protection Act by converting Muslim children to Christianity were found guilty Thursday of all charges.

The trial took place in an Indonesian court with anti-Christian radicals, according to International Christian Concern.

Jeff Hammond of Bless Indonesia Today told Assist News Service that Dr Rebecca Laonita, Ratna Mala Bangun and Ety Pangesti were found “guilty of all charges” and sentenced to three years in jail after running a “Happy Week” (or “Happy Sunday”) programme in their homes in early May.

Mr Hammond said that the women were found guilty despite the fact that the children had attended the event with parental permission and that none of the children had actually converted to Islam to Christianity.

He also said that the sentence was possibly better than it could have been, as witnesses and judges were “constantly under the threats of violence from hundreds of Islamic radicals, who threatened to kill the three ladies, witnesses, pastors, missionaries – and even the judges – if the women were acquitted”.

Mr Hammond also reported to ANS that anti-Christian radicals had showed up to the trial in nine trucks and that they “brought a coffin to bury the accused if they were found not guilty.” He said that the radicals continued to make threats before the session had actually begun and cheered when the verdict was read.

Mr Hammond urged people to “pray for these three beautiful, gentle women, who were just trying to help save the children of prostitutes from going down the same pathway”.

According to Mr Hammond, the women will most likely appeal the court ruling.