The harsh sentence Kace faces, and the brutally inhumane treatment he has been subjected to in prison, is an outrage to the principle of the freedom of conscience.

Christians are a tiny, embattled minority in Indonesia, as in other countries. There is a small and courageous community of Orthodox Christians in Indonesia, numbering around 2500 people.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Indonesia, see here.

“Christian YouTuber in Indonesia Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison,” International Christian Concern, April 8, 2022:

04/08/2022 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on April 6, an Indonesian Christian YouTuber was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a viral YouTube video that allegedly offended Muslims across Indonesia.

Muhammad Kace, 56, is a former Muslim cleric who converted to Christianity in 2014. After his conversion, he began uploading videos to YouTube criticizing his former faith. He was arrested in Bali last August, following a sermon video in which he allegedly insulted the prophet Muhammad.

On April 6, the judges of Ciamis District Court in West Java province agreed with prosecutors to slap him with a 10-year sentence for his offenses. Thousands of Muslims surrounded the court in support of the harsher prosecution of Kace.

During his detention, Kace was treated in an inhumane way; he was allegedly beaten and tortured by a police official named Napoleon Bonaparte who was detained in the same prison due to a corruption case. Bonaparte forced Kace to eat his excrement. The police named five suspects in the alleged beating and torture of him after his maltreatment was revealed to the public.

According to UCA News, Martin Lucas Simanjuntak, Kace’s lawyer, said the sentence was harsh and that his client would appeal the sentence.

“In other such cases, sentences have been lighter,” he said. “We will appeal the verdict, or at the very least the sentence imposed on him.”

While it is not unusual for Christians to fall victim to Indonesia’s draconian blasphemy laws, a Christian-turned-Muslim cleric who was arrested last August for insulting Christianity, Muhammad Yahya Waloni, was sentenced to merely five months in prison in comparison. The inconsistent standard embedded in Indonesia’s legal system is self-evident….