Indonesian Protestant pastor jailed for four years for sharing faith with taxi driver

10 May 2018

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An Indonesian Protestant pastor was sentenced to four years in jail on 7 May for “inciting religious hatred” after sharing his faith with a taxi driver.

Pastor Abraham Ben Moses was originally arrested in December 2017, after he shared a video online of a conversation with a taxi driver. The pastor, who is a convert from Islam, quoted the Quran’s position on marriage and claimed that Muhammad was inconsistent in his teachings.

The original complaint against Pastor Abraham was registered with the police by members of Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organisation, Muhammadiyah.

Image source: Andrew A. Shenouda

The same hate speech laws were used to convict Buni Yani, the man who first accused the Christian former governor of Jakarta of “blasphemy” in 2016. Yani posted an edited video online showing “Ahok” Tjahaha Purnama disputing Islamist claims that the Quran forbids Muslims to be governed by non-Muslims, which became the basis for the accusations of “blasphemy” against the Christian politician.

Ahok was subsequently jailed for two years, with the Indonesian Supreme Court rejecting his final appeal against his sentence in March 2018.

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