Thursday, April 12, 2012

Man Faces 5 Year Sentence for Facebook Status

"Dharmasraya Police Chief Sr. Comr. Chairul Aziz said the district branch of the council and other Islamic organizations believed Aan had defiled Islam by using passages from the Koran to denounce the existence of God and highlight his atheist views. “So it meets the criteria of tainting religion, in this case Islam,” Chairul told The Jakarta Globe.

On Facebook, Aan said he was brought up as a Muslim. In 2008, however, he came to the conclusion that God could not exist. In addition to his comment about the possibility of a deity, he also declared that he did not believe in angels, devils, heaven, hell, as well as other “myths.” He was aware he could lose his job and was prepared to do so to defend his beliefs.

Atheism is a violation of Indonesian law under the founding principles of the country. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, recognises the right to practice six religions in total: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhism and Confucianism. Atheism is, however, illegal. According to Indonesian criminal law, anyone who tries to stop others believing in a faith could face up to five years in jail for blasphemy.

Aan was charged because he used Facebook to spread beliefs that violate the law. Furthermore, it was pointed out he lied on his job application by saying he was Muslim. Aan asked police investigators: if God really exists and has absolute power, why doesn’t God prevent bad things from happening in this world?"

I hereby declare today Thankful Thursday.
I am thankful for living in a country where I can be free to practice whatever religion, or lack thereof, I want.
I am thankful to have found the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ so many years ago.
I am thankful that Christ died for my sins that I may be with Him in heaven when I die.
I am thankful for the peace that comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that I can accept that when bad things happen, they are a result of living in a sinful fallen world.
I am thankful that we do not live in a country that oppresses its people through the veil of religion.
I am thankful for Facebook, because with these gas prices, that's the only way we'll be able to keep in touch by the end of the summer!

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