For the first time ever, a non-Muslim woman has been caned under Shariah law in Indonesia. Remita Sinaga was found guilty of selling alcohol, which is illegal in Aceh. Mrs. Sinaga is a Christian and is 60 years old. She received 28 lashes after spending 47 days in jail.
Several people have spoken out against this. One of the pastors at Mrs. Sinaga’s church said, “We don’t defend her [breaking the law]. [But] our concern is that the law isn’t in line with the national penal code. … Shariah law is only supposed to be for Muslims.” Unfortunately, a law was passed last year stating that in Aceh, Shariah applies to all people, not just Muslims. The non-Muslim is supposed to be willing, though, to be sentenced based on shariah. It is unclear whether Mrs. Sinaga agreed to this or not.
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Pray for Christians in Aceh as they undergo persecution. Ask that God would be their strength and give them wisdom. Pray for the leadership in Aceh to understand that following Shariah is not what makes a person holy, that a person must trust in the sacrifice of Jesus for his holiness.