Indonesian pastor sentenced to 4 years for witnessing to Christian faith

An Indonesian court has sentenced a Protestant pastor to four years in prison for religious defamation after he discussed Christianity with a Muslim taxi driver.

Rev Abraham Ben Moses, a convert from Islam, was also ordered to pay a fine of 50 million Rupiah (£2,600) or serve an additional month in prison.

YouTube/Voice of the MartyrsRev Abraham Ben Moses was sentenced to four years in prison.

The presiding judge said he had 'intentionally spread information intended to incite hatred against an individual, group and society based on religion'.

Moses was arrested in December after he uploaded a recording of a conversation with the taxi driver to Facebook.

In the recording he quoted a verse from the Quraan and invited the driver to convert, according to World Watch Monitor.

The prosecutors had asked for a sentence of five years. However, Moses' legal team are to appeal against the four-year sentence. 'The sentence is too heavy for the defendant,' his lawyer Maxie Ellia said.

In a video of his testimony posted by Voice of the Martyrs Moses says: 'I spread the word of Jesus Christ so everybody can be saved... I get my strength from Jesus, He is a very good friend.'

A spokeswoman for US-based International Christian Concern, Gina Goh, said in a statement: 'The Indonesian government should revisit the country's blasphemy law, as it is increasingly being exploited by radical Muslim groups to target individuals who they find to be offensive and theologically out-of-line.'

Indonesia is number 38 on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Lifestyle