Indonesia (MNN) — Last month, Indonesian police arrested two clergymen, one Muslim and one Christian, on blasphemy charges.
Bruce Allen with FMI says Indonesia tries to treat all nationally recognized religions equally. “The national government is trying to keep balance and harmony between people who speak 720 plus languages and who live on 6000 different islands.”
The Muslim cleric who spoke out against Christianity apologized for his words and was released. However, the Christian, a popular apologist on YouTube, was treated very differently. On his first night in prison, four men brutally attacked him for several hours.
Allen says, “Now, he was not necessarily speaking ill of the Prophet Muhammad, or ripping pages out of a Quran and burning it or anything that we traditionally think of with blasphemy charges. But many Muslims were upset because this man, Muhammad Kece, began changing the way he would use the standard Muslim greeting. Instead of saying the name Muhammad, in that greeting, he would insert the word, Jesus, instead.”
“So in essence, he was saying, ‘Peace be upon you and the Lord Jesus’s mercy and blessings.’”
One of Kece’s attackers holds a high-ranking government office. Allen says, “Christians are looking at this and saying, ‘You’re not protecting the rights of Christians.’”
Pray for Kece
Kece used to be a Muslim cleric, before converting to Christianity in 2014. In 2020, he established his YouTube channel. Allen says, “He offers an intellectual critique of Islam and a defense of Christianity. He’s uploaded more than 400 videos, some of which have been viewed tens of thousands of times. He’s very popular.”
Ask God to comfort and strengthen Kece as he remains in prison. “The things that were done to him during that hour-long attack before anyone even came to his defense in his jail cell are really gruesome. There’s physical trauma, and there’s also the emotional trauma.”