INDONESIA - Riots Erupt in Indonesia over Christian Teacher's Alleged Blasphemy
On Dec. 9, riots broke out in Masohi, Central Maluku province, Indonesia, after Welhelmina Holle, a Christian elementary school teacher, allegedly made comments that insulted Islam while tutoring a Muslim student. News of the incident spread throughout the Muslim community, sparking the Indonesian Ulema Council to file a complaint with the police against Holle. Approximately 500 Muslims protested outside the Central Maluku Education Agency, accusing Holle of blasphemy and calling for his dismissal. The mob then gathered outside the Central Maluku Police headquarters and demanded to meet with the police chief, but when informed that he was not on the premises, the Muslims dispersed.
However, confrontations between some of the Muslims and police officials incited violence. Police and soldiers were eventually able to intervene but two churches, a health clinic, several vehicles and approximately 65 homes were burned. At the time of the report, Holle remained in detention. He is reportedly being charged with blasphemy, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Ask God to strengthen Holle. Pray for those who have lost property in the riots. Pray that Christ will equip Indonesian Christians to follow His example and remain faithful to Him.
PAKISTAN - Young Christian Woman and Her Father Imprisoned
Twenty- year-old Sandul Bibi and her father Gulsher are in prison in Pakistan, charged with violating section 295-B of the Pakistani legal code, the “blasphemy” law. Sandul is falsely accused of ripping pages from the Quran. On Oct. 9, a large crowd of Muslims attacked Christian families at a church, throwing stones and firing guns. They were shouting, “Kill Gulsher and his daughter Sandul.” Sandul and her father, Gulsher Masih, were arrested after a mob from the local mosque surrounded their house. Loudspeakers from different mosques broadcast accusations that Christians had disgraced the Quran, calling Muslims to attack and burn their homes. The angry crowd threw stones and set fire to Sandul’s home. Christians believe Sandul and her father were targeted and arrested because they were aggressively winning villagers to Christ.
Sandul has written several letters to her family from prison. In her latest letter she says, “I am praying a lot that God releases me from here and I can meet you, but I don’t know when. He will give answers for our prayers. Please pray for me.” If convicted, Sandul faces at least four years in prison. She and her family desperately need your prayers and encouragement.
The Voice of the Martyrs has supported Sandul and her family both financially and spiritually through this difficult time. VOM encourages you to lift this family up in prayer and ask God to encourage them.
(from PERSECUTION WATCH)