By Jonathon Van Maren
As Western nations rapidly become more hostile to Christianity, it is good to remember that—although the increasing discrimination and marginalization Christians face here in the West is worsening—that compared to what Christians face the world over, what is happening here does not (in comparison) rise to the level of persecution. I thought of that again when I spotted this story, in The Guardian:
Two Indonesian Christians were publicly flogged in conservative Aceh province Tuesday for playing a children’s entertainment game seen as violating Islamic law. Hundreds of onlookers ridiculed and took pictures of the pair were who were among five people – including a couple whipped two dozen times each for showing affection in public – who were lashed with a rattan stick.
Aceh is the only province in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law and people can be flogged for a range of offences – from gambling, to drinking alcohol to having gay sex or relations outside of marriage.
On Tuesday, Dahlan Silitonga, 61, and Tjia Nyuk Hwa, 45, were flogged six and seven times respectively after being arrested for playing a long-standing game at a children’s entertainment complex that lets users exchange coins for prizes or vouchers, including cash. The pair were accused of gambling while another man Ridwan MR got 19 lashes for being involved in the game.
“This is to create a deterrent effect, in order for people not to repeat violations of Islamic sharia law,” Banda Aceh’s mayor Aminullah Usman said. “We purposely do it in front of the public … so it won’t happen again.”
About 300 spectators, including some two dozen tourists from neighbouring Malaysia, jeered the gambling-accused trio as they were whipped on a makeshift stage outside a mosque.
“You are old, show remorse,” the crowd screamed.
Chilling to think of: Christians being publicly flogged—and this is simply the most recent example—for violating Sharia law. These floggings, as you can see, are accompanied by public humiliation and ridicule. Christians are second-class citizens in their own country, and are treated as such. Indonesia is only one such country—there are many others were Christians live under Sharia law, as well. We in the West would do well, occasionally, to remember them and count our blessings.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.