Indonesian cleric arrested for insulting Christianity


Indonesian police arrested and charged a Muslim cleric with blasphemy for allegedly insulting Christians.

The arrest comes three days after the arrest of a Muslim convert to Christianity for allegedly insulting Islam.

Muhammad Yahya Waloni, a former Protestant who became a Muslim in 2006 and became a preacher, was arrested on August 26 at his residence in Jakarta.

He is accused of insulting Christianity by claiming that the Holy Bible was a fiction and a forgery in one of his sermons.

The arrest follows a complaint filed with police by a civilian group in April, police spokesman Brig. General Rusdi Hartono told reporters on August 27.

He said Waloni had been charged with blasphemy and hate speech. “The investigations are still ongoing,” he told UCA News.

All are equal before the law. Therefore, there must be fair treatment in all cases, including blasphemy and hate speech

When asked why it took four months to arrest Waloni following the police report, he said the investigation took a long time.

Waloni’s arrest came three days after a Muslim convert to Christianity, Muhammad Kace, was arrested for blasphemy.

Kace was arrested on August 23 in Bali after being accused of uploading videos to YouTube insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

In these, he allegedly claimed that the prophet was “surrounded by demons and liars.”

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The two arrests follow a call by Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas for a crackdown on those who commit blasphemy and hate speech.

“All are equal before the law. Therefore, there must be fair treatment in all cases, including blasphemy and hate speech, ”he said recently, calling on religious leaders to continue to help improve understanding of other religions. among their followers.

Philip Situmorang, spokesperson for the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, said in a statement that people should think wisely before making statements about other religions.

He said authorities should prosecute Waloni’s case in the same way they would treat Kace’s.

“In blasphemy cases, the police and law enforcement need to be fair instead of siding with a certain group. Christians have been arrested and brought to justice in blasphemy cases, while those who insult Christianity or other religions have been left alone, ”he said.

Such unfair treatment causes anxiety among Christians, he added.

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