Archbishop Gary Beaver Confirms that Appeal for Release of Indonesian Sunday School Teachers has Fai

From: Old Catholic Church of Great Britain
Published: Fri Dec 02 2005

The "Doing Hard Time for God" project led by Old Catholic Archbishop Gary Beaver released details confirming that the appeal filed by Dr. Rebecca Zakaria, Ratna Bangun and Ety Pangesti – leaders from a local Christian Church in the district of Indramayu in West Java – has been rejected by the Indonesian authorities.

The three Sunday School Teachers have been in prison since September 1st, when they were convicted of "attempting to force children to change their religion" under the Indonesian "Child Protection Act."

Archbishop Gary Beaver reported that the local leaders of the Indonesian Council of Muslim Clerics (MUI) made allegations that the three women enticed Muslim children to participate in a Sunday school program organised for local Christian children in a nearby public elementary school in Indonesia’s West Java province. It is further alleged that during the Sunday School meeting, they tried to convert the children to Christianity by giving them gifts. Although all the children reportedly had full parental consent to join the program and none of children had changed religion, the women were arrested on 13th May.

New Zealand Director of the Barnabas Fund, Julian Dobbs, recently returned to New Zealand, after visiting the three convicted women. In describing their situation, he said, "The women sleep on hardwood platforms with no blankets or sheets. There are 12 women altogether, in the prison, and eight share a five meter by five meter jail cell where they must pay the guards to turn on the water for their toilet."

The Old Catholic Church of Great Britain has called for prayers for the believers in Indonesia and the speedy recovery of the persecuted ones. It has also requested prayers for raising up leaders for the growing Church in all Countries where Christian persecution is rife..
Company: Old Catholic Church of Great Britain
Contact Name: Media Officer
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