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Muslims in Java Protest 'Lenient' Sentence For Blasphemy

Hundreds of radical Islamists stormed a courthouse and set two churches on fire in Indonesia's Central Java province today to protest what they said was the lenient sentence for a Christian accused of blaphemy.

Antonius Bawengan, 58, was found guilty of distributing books and leaflets that "spread hatred about Islam" and sentenced to five years in prison for blasphemy.

The protesters shouted that the man should have been sentenced to death.

Police fired into the air to disperse the crowd, who also burned several vehicles and threw stones at a third church and a school.

Today's rioting came two days after a mob of radical Muslims killed three members of the Ahmadiya minority Islamic sect in West Java province on February 6.

compiled from agency reports