Indonesia Christians flogged under Sharia law

Thursday, February 11, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Two Christian men were flogged by a Sharia law officer Monday for the criminalized offenses of drinking alcohol and gambling in Indonesia’s province of Aceh, the Christian Post reports. Aceh is the only province in Indonesia with the “legal right to apply Islamic law in full.”

The two Christian men, whose names have not been revealed in reports, were each given 40 lashes by the law officer who beat them on their backs with a cane. Five Muslim men were also flogged on Monday, for the crimes of adultery and drinking alcohol, the Christian Post reports.

While Sharia law is applied to Muslims, non-Muslims can choose to be punished under sharia or the Islamic criminal code. In a statement to the media, one of the Christians flogged said he chose Sharia because the alternative could have meant up to six months in prison.

“The Sharia police gave us options, and we consciously decided to comply with the Islamic criminal code. No one forced me to choose it,” the Christian man said.

Indonesia ranks 47 on the Open Doors USA’s 2021 World Watch List of the worst countries for Christian persecution, the Christian Post reports.

Moreover, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has advised the US government that Indonesia should be placed on its “special watch list” of countries that engage in or tolerate severe religious freedom violations.