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Apollinaris Darmawan did not cause any casualties or damage, but he is in prison!

Apollinaris Darmawan did not cause any casualties or damage, but he is in prison!

This septuagenarian Indonesian writer lived behind bars from January 5, 2017 to March 24, 2020 and on August 8, 2020, he was returned to prison. He remains there until now.

The media had reported that Apollinaris Darmawan had been put in prison for blasphemy. Indeed, he is a former Muslim who became a Catholic, which is not very common in Indonesia. Many believe that he was persecuted because of his faith, but in reality, he was prosecuted by the Indonesian justice system for his personal and disturbing opinions:

Darmawan wanted to explain in an open and rational way that "Islam is not a religion, but a heresy that dumbs down its followers."

In 2009, he wrote a shocking book on this subject: "Six Ways Toward God". First presented on December 5, 2009, at the prestigious Paramadina Islamic University in Jakarta, this book was also published in English by the Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA) in the United States. It is still for sale on Amazon.

The book met with some success at first, but was immediately banned by the prosecutors' office on December 23, 2009. The following year, the Constitutional Court lifted the ban, but unfortunately no bookstore has dared to put it back on sale until now. Between 2009 and 2016, Darmawan actively wrote on social networks, without being contradicted by even the most radical Muslim intellectuals.

On January 5, 2017, he was unexpectedly arrested and sentenced to 4 years in prison. He was temporarily released on March 24, 2020 due to the covid 19 health crisis. At the end of July 2020, he made short videos, uploaded to his YouTube channel. After making fourteen of them, on the evening of August 8, he was brutally taken from his home by a group of radical Muslims. "He was later sentenced to five years in prison with a fine of IDR 800,000,000 (about USD 53,000) for inciting hatred and hostility.

Darmawan was born into a Muslim family in Jakarta. Like any good Muslim, he learned from childhood to recite the Koran and perform Islamic prayers at the mosque. He converted to Catholicism during his university studies in Bandung.

During his interrogation at the police station, he was asked what he thought was the best religion. Against the expectations of his interrogators, he did not mention Catholicism, but said that "All religions that teach love can be practiced.

Islamism is present in Indonesia because the majority of its population is Muslim. Indonesia has been fortunate in that Sukarno and Suharto were able to mitigate the rise of Islamism in the archipelago. But since the democratic reform of 1998, the Islamist threat has continued to grow.

In 2017, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, a Christian governor of the Indonesian capital, was sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy. It is worth noting that discrimination against non-Muslims affects virtually every Muslim-majority country.

The Indonesian government has always wanted the world to believe that Indonesia is a democratic country. However, this democracy is not that of the people, but of the majority in power. Many dissidents like Apollinaris Darmawan have been thrown into prison, yet they have not caused any casualties or damage.

Western countries seem to voluntarily turn a blind eye to the serious human rights violations in Indonesia. Probably in order to protect the interests of the multinationals, which massively exploit natural resources in the country.

This is a scandal! Let us have the courage to denounce it.

From ignorance to knowledge - † Chrétiens en Indonésie † (