Two Australian men were among those who were executed by Indonesia this week. Of the others, there was one from Brazil who was schizophrenic and did not even know that he was to be executed.
I am not necessarily against the death penalty, at least in the most horrific of circumstances. I certainly believe that someone like the backpacker murderer should have been sentenced to death. However, when it comes to two men managing to rehabilitate themselves I feel a little differently. That rehabilitation should have been recognized by the Indonesian president the Joke Widodo.
Yet this is not what is on my mind regarding these executions. I think what is really on my mind is the manner in which the executions were carried out, as well as the fact that Christians were singled out for execution. It bothers me that the posts to which the prisoners were to be tied were in fact crucifixes. The men who were executed had their arms stretched out, just like Jesus had his arms stretched out on a cross. It seems to me that the crosses used for the executions were symbolic in some way.
Indonesia is a Muslim nation. One of the two men, Andrew Chan became a Christian pastor during his time in the Bali jail where he had been held. The other man, Mayuran Sukamaran became an artist and completed a fine arts degree. He was helping other prisoners with art classes. Chan on the other hand was leading prisoners in prayer and Bible study. It is this last piece of information that might have sealed Chan’s fate, because in a Muslim country it is not permitted to preach Christianity, let alone convert to being Christian.
Sukamaran and Chan had spent 10 years helping other prisoners turn their lives around. It is very sad that this fact did not see them get clemency. It is as if Widodo was in a hurry to execute these Christian prisoners not just because they were drug smugglers who had been caught, but because they were also Christian. If what I am thinking is verified in the future, then I will know for certain that Indonesia continues to pose a threat to Australia’s existence as a Christian nation.
To my mind those executions should not have been carried out, especially when the prisoners had turned their lives around to the point that they were helping Indonesian prisoners to reform.
I note here that Widodo proved himself to be a hypocrite because he was busy asking for mercy for Indonesian prisoners whilst at the same time remaining hard of heart against those Australian men.