Indonesian pastor released

By May 12, 2008

Indonesia (MNN) – Voice of the Martyrs Canada reports that Pastor Abraham Bentar was
released from prison and rejoined his family on April 27, after completing
two-thirds of his sentence and becoming eligible for parole. 

Bentar was sentenced to 4½ years in prison for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad
after a group of Muslims attacked him in West Java
on March 9, 2006. While he was visiting
relatives in West Java, the mob beat him,
rolled over his van, stole its contents, burned it, and was threatening to burn
him when the police arrived. 

He was
detained for security reasons in the
Tasikmalaya police station and was transferred to Tasikmalaya's local prison
after receiving his prison sentence. 

Pastor Bentar was in prison, his wife received over 10,000 letters and
photographs from supporters around the world who were praying for her and her

the government of Indonesia
allows its citizens to freely choose their religious beliefs. In reality, the government prefers
Islam. All Indonesians are required to
carry an identification card that specifies their religious affiliation. At one point, 41 Indonesian Christians
were thrown in prison for perceived blasphemy of the Koran on video. 

About 80%
of Indonesians are Muslim, and about 16% are Christian. Indonesia now has 11.5 million
evangelicals–almost 9 times as many as it had 40 years ago. 



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