Indonesian Sunday School Teachers Released

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There's a breakthrough of sorts in another Muslim country where Christians are persecuted.

As CWN News first reported, authorities in Idramayu, Indonesia, have released three Christian Sunday school teachers imprisoned since 2005.

Christian World News has been following the story of Rebekka, Ratna, and Etty from the very beginning.

And today, we bring you their happy ending.
                             
Finally! It is a sweet taste of freedom for Etty, Ratna, and Rebekka as they were reunited with their families and friends from church the day after they were released from the Indramayu state prison.

The highlight of the gathering was a thanksgiving service. The three women can't help but be emotional as they praised and worshiped the one true God, who alone can set the captives free.

Of all their loved ones, their young children suffered the most from the long separation from their mothers.

"I was sad when I knew mommy was imprisoned because my mother is a good person," Ester Pangesti, Etty's daughter, said. "All she tried to do was to share the good news to the children."

But sharing the good news from the Bible to their Sunday school class, which included many Muslim children, caught the ire of Islamic extremists.

In 2005, the three Sunday school teachers were convicted of converting Muslim children to Christianity and sentenced to three years in prison.

While in prison, the women shared their faith with fellow inmates. Their good behavior paved the way to an early release on June 8.

The women say they have no regrets because their experience taught them many lessons.

"I know about how to depend on God,” Rebekka Zakaria said. “Before, I was a doctor and I had much money. I never needed help from others. But now I know God can use other people to bless me, to visit me and to take of me. I thank God that he sends me many Christian soldiers around the world to take care of me."

Now that the women are free, their safety is at stake because Islamic radicals are still threatening to attack them.

"Humanly speaking, of course, there is fear, but two years in prison has taught us that God is our only faithful helper and we believe He will always protect us," Etty said.

The women say they'll continue teaching Sunday school, but this time they will be more cautious and wiser.

Rebekka now sees the importance of getting a written parental consent from the children. The next few weeks shall be spent making up for the lost time with their families.

"I am so glad that finally I can see my mother everyday, not through hand phones or letters, but we can be together everyday," Rebekka's daughter, Kezia Zakaria, said.

Her other daughter, Yohana, said, "I thank God that she is with me now. I pray that she will always be in God's hands and so do I."

“Although my mother had to be imprisoned and we could not be with them for two years, I believe it was God's plan, and God's plan is good and beautiful for us," Ester said.

 

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Lucille Talusan

Lucille Talusan

Christian World News

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