Hundreds of Islamist protesters stormed a courthouse and put two churches to the torch in central Java town of Temmangung on Feb. 8 to protest that a Christian convicted of blasphemy was not given the death penalty. The defendant, Antonius Richmond Bawengan, was found guilty of distributing books and leaflets that “spread hatred about Islam” and was sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum term. The the Bethel and Pantekosta churches were burned, while the Santo Petrus and Paulus churches were pelted with stones. Two days earlier, a lynch mob in the nearby town of Banten killed three members of the Ahmadiyya minority Islamic sect. The attacks prompted international calls for the overturn of Indonesia’s blasphemy laws. (ENI News, Feb. 10; Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Catholic News Agency, Jakarta Post, Feb. 9; Bali Times, NYT, Feb. 8)
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