Eight Men Executed in Indonesia Praise God With Dying Breaths

Activists protest the death of convicted drug smugglers who converted to Christianity in prison.
Activists protest the death of convicted drug smugglers who converted to Christianity in prison. (Reuters)

Eight men executed in Indonesia were singing to the Lord as they were marched to their death. 

"They were praising their God," Pastor Karina de Vega tells the Sydney Morning Herald. "It was breathtaking. This was the first time I witnessed someone so excited to meet their God."

But the men were not martyrs. 

Instead, reports say the seven foreigners and one Indonesian national were convicted of drug trafficking. 

While one woman was spared, these executions are causing international outrage, drawing attention to the conversions of the inmates. 

One of those executed, Andrew Chan, led Bible studies and became an an ordained minister while in prison, according to the LA Times. Chan was convicted as a drug smuggler and one of the Bali Nine.

Another of the condemned, Okwudili Ayotanze, was a Nigerian gospel singer who would sing to the prison guards.

"Their crimes were now long ago, their hearts and minds forever changed by their crimes, their trials, the hurt they've caused their loved ones," Guns 'N Roses Axl Rose writes in an open letter to the Indonesian president. 

Rose highlights the need to consider the conversion and how inmates like Chan should be spared after radically turning their lives around to Jesus.

"To kill these men under these conditions of their profound and proven change for the better seems a barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act of pride, ego, fear and prejudice, prejudice against your own system and the souls of anyone who has committed what's been deemed a crime from one day making amends and having the opportunity to make things right by how they live their lives and not how they are brutally and with disregard executed."

But the inmates harbored no hatred toward their captors and executors. 

The words to Amazing Grace and the Lord's prayer reverberated through the condemned as they marched to their death. 

"They also sang Bless the Lord O My Soul before their song was cut off by the crack of gunfire," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.


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