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An Indonesian court will decide next week whether to push forward with a controversial blasphemy trial of Jakarta’s Christian governor, who is accused of insulting the Koran, a judge told a hearing on Tuesday.

Several hundred Muslim protesters stood outside the Jakarta court, calling for the jailing of Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese politician, known by his nickname Ahok.

A rival group of his supporters unveiled a banner with a map of Indonesia calling for unity and saying “Ahok is a blessing”.

A prosecution lawyer said the charges against the governor were legal and the trial should continue, dismissing a claim by the defence that naming Purnama a suspect had violated his human rights and breached procedures.”The defendant under the prosecutors’ charges has violated articles 156 and 156a … but there was no violation of procedures,” said Ali Murkatono, referring to the codes of the blasphemy law, which can carry a jail term of up to five years.

Some have stated that this trial represents religious tolerance on a larger scale in Indonesia, and the decision from this trial could have strong repercussions in the direction Indonesia takes. Already, some ethnic and religious minorities are under tensions as acts of violence or discrimination against them have increased since the trial began.

Source: International Christian Concern

 Prayer Points

  • Ask God to give Governor Purnama wisdom and gracious responses throughout proceedings as a testimony to the Indonesian authorities and public.
  • Pray that Governor Purnama’s example will embolden other Indonesian Christians to lift the name of the Lord high and to honour Him in everything.
  • Pray that God will use this case to bring positive change to Indonesia’s laws, allowing Christians greater freedom to practise their faith.