8 Weeks Jail for Distributing Chick Tracts in Singapore
In a trial that has dragged on for over a year, Dorothy Leng and Ong Cheong were finally sentenced to jail for their "offences [that] affected the very foundation of Singapore society," according to Judge Roy Neighbour.
One filed a complaint which resulted in their arrest in April, 2008, for violation of both the Sedition Act and Forbidden Publications Act. When authorities raided their condominium, 440 copies of 11 "seditious booklets" were confiscated as evidence.
In the trial, they were convicted of promoting "feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore." They were sentenced on four counts of possession and distribution of "seditious" and "objectionable" literature. The offences allowed for jail time of several years and fines in the thousands. The prosecution asked for stiffer sentences but the couple was given minimum sentences of 8 weeks jail and no fines because it was their first offence. The judge also explained that the literature was from a "reputable company" in the U.S. and had been freely available through local bookstores. However, the judge said it was necessary to impose a sentence "to deter others from committing similar offences."
One of the Christian bookstores was also raided and certain other Chick titles were banned. This case illustrates a woldwide trend to impose "harmony" laws. America’s founding fathers established a constitution allowing freedom for all religions to exchange ideas and compete in the public square.
They knew that, if given this freedom, the gospel would prevail over Satan’s false churches and religions. Many other nations have freedom of religion written into their constitutions, but take it away with these "harmony laws."
Jesus said that His gospel would bring peace of heart to the individual but it would bring a sword of division with the world, even dividing family members against each other.
Throughout history, those who could not defeat the gospel in fair competition have turned to political or religious power. Islamic countries, for example, do not dare let the gospel in.
They know that, if the people learn of a loving God instead of their impersonal, capricious deity, their power will be lost.
Governments under the thumb of religion, such as Russia under the Orthodox, and Latin America under Roman Catholicism, are other examples where freedom to preach the gospel is also limited by political powers.
America and the western world is under this same subtle attack. Society is being divided into classes with special privileges and protections. Anyone who disturbs the "harmony" of these classes can be marginalized or even silenced.
Europe is further down that road than America, where pastors who speak out against legalized sin (such as homosexuality) are hauled into court. However, a cloud is gathering over the Bible believers in America. The new "hate laws" being considered in our legislatures are a bold step down that slippery slope.
Promoters of sin have gained power beyond their numbers. "Hate" will eventually be defined as anything that disturbs the "harmony" of the culture.
This, like in Singapore, will be used to squelch the truth of the gospel, that Jesus is the only way to heaven. This "divisive" teaching of the Bible will be ruled as promoting: "feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population," just like in Singapore.
Soul winners, we need to vote diligently for our freedom, and get the gospel out every way we can —while there is still time.
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