Religious Liberty Prayer Alert: Christian Governor Imprisoned for Blasphemy in Indonesia

Prayer May 17, 2017

15 May 2017

Governor Purnama speaking to his lawyers following the verdict (Source: The Atlantic/Reuters)

On 9 May 2017, the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as "Ahok" was convicted on charges of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced to two years in jail by the North Jakarta District Court. 

Purnama, Indonesia’s foremost Christian politician, was appointed as governor of Jakarta in 2014. However, in the wake of blasphemy allegations, Purnama lost his bid for re-election last month.

According to reports, prosecutors had recommended a suspended one-year jail sentence on charges of hate speech. The judges, nevertheless, ignored the prosecutors' demand. Following the verdict, Purnama’s lawyers stated that they would appeal the court’s ruling. The governor, though, is expected to remain imprisoned during the appeal process.

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