Muhammad Kace is a 56-year-old father of two and a grandfather to four grandchildren.
He is a Christian YouTuber who was sentenced to prison in Indonesia, the country with the highest Muslim population in the world. The Indonesian police reported that his videos were ‘hate speech’ because they violated the Information and Electronic Transactions Act, as individuals are not allowed to speak against the Koran or the prophet Mohammed.
Kace was born into a Muslim family and was a devout follower of Islam. In 1997, he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and while there, mysteriously heard a voice questioning whom he should worship.
In 2000, his father became unwell and was on the brink of death until a Christian pastor prayed for him, and he miraculously recovered after three days. Kace’s father became a secret believer in Christ and shared with him about reading the Koran carefully. He stated there is a prophet in the Koran called Isa Almasih, but in the Bible, he is called Jesus Christ. The Bible says that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and in the Koran, He is referred to as the Straight Path (Az-Zukhruf Verse 61). After studying the Koran carefully in 2003, Kace accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour and became baptised into the Christian faith. His favourite Bible verse is “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NIV). After becoming a follower of Christ, Kace faithfully shared the gospel without hesitation and did not realise that he would be persecuted for his beliefs.
In 2003, his family home was surrounded by a Muslim mob but luckily the police assisted in evacuating Kace and his family safely before his house was burned. In April 2022, Kace was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for his YouTube videos discussing Islam and Christianity. Whilst Kace was in prison, he suffered from physical beatings carried out by the Inspector General of Police and other detainees at the National Police Criminal Investigation Division’s cell which were covered up for several weeks by local authorities. Kace sustained significant injuries impacting his hip, back, lower shoulder and spine. He also suffered injuries to his chest and had swelling of his heart (cardiomegaly). Following the physical beatings, Kace was paralysed and had an infection leading to bone tuberculosis. He is no longer able to walk efficiently and must use a wheelchair. Before his son purchased him a wheelchair, he had to crawl to move around his cell. Kace is awaiting surgery on his spine however cannot have surgery until the infection in his spine improves.
Despite suffering and being imprisoned for his beliefs, Kace has been supported by local pastors and by the global church community. Financial support from Voice of the Martyrs has provided the family with the opportunity to supply essential medication and food for Kace whilst in prison. Kace’s family have also been supported with home rental costs and assistance to pay for legal fees. VOM has also covered the costs of his upcoming back surgery.
Kace’s lawyers have been successful in appealing the length of the sentence which has been reduced to eight years. They are appealing again to further reduce the sentence. Whilst in prison Kace’s wife, Watma leaves him a letter every Monday after attending her Sunday church service, with notes from the sermon and Bible verses to encourage him. The prison authorities have allowed Kace to have a Bible, which he reads every day. Starting in October 2022, Kace was allowed a Christian pastor visitation by Pastor Johnson who visits Kace weekly. He has also received his new ID which lists his religion as now Christian.