A woman in Aceh was gang raped last week because she was accused of having an affair. She now faces being publicly caned for the affair. Ibrahim Latif, the head of the sharia office in her town says that both she and the man will be caned because they violated a religious bylaw on sexual relations.
The woman was raped by eight vigilantes. Three of them have been arrested, while the other five are still on the run. The man was tied up and beaten. The vigilantes also threw sewage on the couple before they took them to the sharia police. Latif said the fact that the couple was attacked would not be taken into consideration in determining the punishment for the religious crime.
The rapists are only being tried under the criminal law, even though they could be tried in the sharia court as well. An official from Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) states that he agrees with caning the couple, but believes the rapists should face sharia charges as well as criminal ones. The head of NU’s Aceh chapter urges residents to leave sharia enforcement to the sharia police, and not enforce the law themselves. He states that there has been increasing prevalence of mob violence in Aceh, especially against sharia violations.
Pray for this woman, that believers would lovingly surround her and share the Gospel with her. Ask the Father to convict the hearts of vigilantes and would-be vigilantes, bringing them to Himself.
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