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Indonesia Christian Governor Battles Radical Islam


A court in Jakarta, Indonesia, ruled that the trial of a Christian governor charged with blasphemy against Islam will go forward.

Gov. Basuki Purnaama was charged with blasphemy after saying that some Muslim leaders were misusing the Qur'an by teaching that a Muslim cannot be ruled by a Christian.

He appealed that the indictment is based on inaccuracies.

"I never had intention of insulting Muslims and insulting the clergy. On that basis, I plead with the judges to consider my exception plea," Purnama said before the trial, but his plea was denied by the court.

The trial will resume next week on January 3. If convicted of blasphemy, the Christian governor could suffer a jail term of up to five years.

The uproar against Jakarta's Christian governor is a sign of rising tension against growing Christian influence in the world's most Muslim nation.

Earlier this month, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued a religious decree (fatwa) prohibiting the use of Christmas-themed attire or tradition.

The council harshly criticized any signs of Christmas invading public areas of the country, calling it "a foreign culture with which we must not mingle."

According to the anti-persecution advocacy group, International Christian Concern, Indonesia is facing a rise in radical Islam.

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