Drug Smuggler Andrew Chan Corresponded with Hillsong's Brian Houston Before Execution

Andrew Chan

Andrew Chan was convicted in Indonesia of drug trafficking as a member of the Bali Nine. In 2005, Chan was arrested at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. According to court testimonies of convicted drug mules, Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were the co-ringleaders of the heroin smuggling operation from Indonesia to Australia. After a criminal trial on 14 February 2006, Chan was sentenced to execution by firing squad by the Denpasar District Court.

After lodging an appeal against his sentence, his appeal was dismissed by the Indonesian Supreme Court on 10 May 2011. His plea for clemency was rejected by the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, on 22 January 2015. The execution was carried out on 29 April 2015.

Prior to their execution, the prisoners sang "Amazing Grace," then "Bless the Lord, O My Soul."

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

While in prison, Chan and fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran corresponded with Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church. "By all accounts, these two young men-whom I have had the great privilege of being in personal contact with over the last number of months-have not only accepted the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, but have also rehabilitated themselves to be upstanding members of the prison system," Houston wrote shortly before their execution. "Even in jail they have made a positive contribution to the lives of other prisoners, and sought to pay their debt to society. I have had the pleasure of speaking with Andrew Chan almost everyday and his faith and strength under extreme duress, have inspired me."

Darlene Zschech, the former worship pastor of Hillsong writes: "We continue to pray & hold onto HOPE for the lives of Andrew Chan & Myuran Sukumaran .. #HoldOntoHope #Lifeoverdeath." 

Chan became a Christian while in solitary confinement.

Tags : andrew chan drug smuggler andrew chan death indonesian execution Myuran Sukumaran indonesia drug trafficking bali nine Hillsong hillsong church Brian Houston Darlene Zschech Hillsong LIVE hillsong worship

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