Dec 7, 2010

Indonesian Christians Jailed for Preaching Gospel to Muslims

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Three Indonesian Sunday school teachers - Rebekka, Ratna, and Eti - were imprisoned back in May 2005 for converting Muslim children to Christianity.
CBN News recently visited the women at the local prison in Indramayu, Indonesia and discovered they were still sharing their faith behind bars.

They have remained in high spirits although they have now spent two years in jail for a crime that most people say they did not commit.

In 2005, the three Sunday school teachers were put on trial after a group of Muslim radicals in their village accused them of converting their children to Christianity.

Evidence was presented suggesting the Muslim parents were aware their children attended Sunday school with their Christian friends. Regardless, the court still pronounced the women guilty and sentenced them to three years in prison.

"I call this prison 'a school of trust in God,'" said Rebekka, one of the jailed school teachers. "I think it's not easy to be a prisoner, but everything is easy with the Holy Spirit.

She continued, "My life is proof that Jesus is very faithful to me in this jail, because He supplies our needs, never leaves me. They ask me, 'Why do you never look so sad in prison?' I told them this joy in my heart and peace in my heart is because of Jesus."

The three women did not keep their faith in Christ to themselves. They shared it with fellow inmates.

Edi Koswara was one of those inmates. He is in jail for stealing a motorcycle and says it was the kindness of Rebekka that led him to ask her about Jesus.

"I saw the kindness of Jesus on her face. I know every child of God has joy on his face. I want the same and know about this," said Edi.

And Edi, the former Hindu and Muslim, embraced Christianity.

She said, "I know Jesus has died for me and has forgiven my sins. When I die, I know I will be with Jesus in heaven.

Inspired by biblical passages, Edi made several paintings which Rebekka used in her Bible studies.

Rebekka says she believes all the good things that happened to them inside the prison were answers to the prayers of Christians from around the world.

And prayers for their early release have also been answered. Eti, Ratna and Rebekkaa will be freed on parole in June.

But will the three women stop teaching Sunday school to the children?

"Of course not! No," said Rebekka. "But we must be wise because they will watch us."

But with their heavenly father closely watching them, Eti, Ratna and Rebekka said they are confident that their future is secured.

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