In April, Indonesian Pastor Abraham Ben Moses (formerly Saifuddin Ibrahim) was released from prison after serving two years of a four year sentence. Pastor Abraham was first arrested in December 2017 after a YouTube video of him surfaced teaching the differences between the Bible and the Koran. Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations, accused Pastor Abraham of blaspheming, citing this YouTube video. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
A former professor of Islamic studies, Reverend Abraham Ben Moses
“Pastor Abraham was once a professor of Islamic studies, so he knows Islam better than most people. He studied religious comparison before teaching Islam at university and raised his family with a devout Muslim faith,”
Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Hyun Sook Foley explains.
“But in 2005, Pastor Abraham read the Bible and was converted.”
According to representative Foley, after Pastor Abraham received Christ, he was radically changed and began preaching and evangelizing almost immediately. He wrote a total of five Christian books, some describing his conversion while others were comparative studies between Christianity and Islam. The books were also seen as ‘condemning’ the Muslim faith and were used in court as evidence against him.
An interview with Abraham Ben Moses prior to his recent release.
Pastor Abraham was kept in a holding cell inside the police station for two months where a General was sent to try and convert him back to Islam but he refused. According to representative Foley, during his time in the police station, Pastor Abraham converted 18 Muslims to Christianity and baptized the converts in their holding cells. After two months, he went on to a prison. There, he was persecuted by other prisoners because they knew he was charged with ‘blasphemy.’ Eventually, he was moved, but had to pay financially.
According to representative Foley, in the new prison, Pastor Abraham had an easier time and continued to minister to prisoners. During this time in the prison, he converted around 60 people and trained some to be Christian teachers. Two of the Christian prisoners continue to work in prison. Pastor Abraham was often threatened by prisoners (three of whom were convicted terrorists) but the guards respected him and he felt safe and protected. While he was sentenced to four years, his sentence was miraculously shortened, and he was released.
Abraham Ben Moses and his wife
Upon his release, the guards questioned whether he would continue his work and he said,
“Yes of course, it is my job.”
Pastor Abraham says he will continue to build his ministry to Muslims and a network for evangelism in Indonesia. According to representative Foley,
“He even has plans to start a school for missions outside Indonesia in Borneo. We praise God for Pastor Abraham’s release and thank everyone who has been praying for this day which has finally come.”
Although Pastor Abraham was released from prison, Christians in Indonesia continue to experience persecution. To learn more about Christians in Indonesia, you can visit Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s website at: https://vomkorea.com/country-profile/indonesia/