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Convicted Christian Governor Spends His Time Reading Bible in Prison


For five years Basuki "Ahok" Purnama served as a prominent Christian politician in the world's largest Muslim nation of Indonesia.

Now, the 50-year-old former governor of Jakarta sits in a 64-square-foot prison cell serving a two-year sentence for blaspheming Islam.

Earlier this week, his sister, Fifi Lety Indra, visited Ahok in prison and told the Jakarta Post that her brother is getting back to reading the Bible and is sharpening his Mandarin skills.

"My brother also asked for a notebook, I think he needs a medium to share his feelings because prison can be lonely," Indra told the Jakarta Post.

Indra said her brother was an avid reader of the Bible during his college years, but because of his busy schedule as governor of Jakarta, Indra says her brother didn't always have the opportunity to spend time reading the Word of God like he'd wanted to.  

Now the confines of a tiny prison cell "could be a blessing in disguise" writes the Jakarta Post.

"Who knows, maybe he can produce quality writing while in detention," Indra told the newspaper.

On May 9, a panel of five judges found him guilty of allegedly blaspheming the Quran.

The justice overseeing the trial, claimed that the sentencing wasn't politically motivated and that the trial was simply a criminal case, but Ahok's lawyer said authorities were pressured into their verdict.

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