Evangelist Franklin Graham has asked the Christian community to pray for the Christian governor of Jakarta, Indonesia, who is currently on trial for blasphemy against Islam.
Graham issued the urgent call for Christians to pray on his Facebook, according to Charisma News:
"We need to pray for the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, who is on trial for what the Muslims are calling blasphemy, which is ridiculous,” wrote Graham. “He's the first non-Muslim governor of the Indonesian capital in more than half a century. They're coming after him because he's a Christian. Hard line Muslim groups have organized protests against him and some have even called for him to be lynched. This is the kind of persecution that is going on around the world in countries that are controlled by Islam. Pray for this man and his family.”
According to The New York Times, Basuki is the first Christian governor of the predominantly Muslim city in nearly 50 years.
Blasphemy laws and accusations often target Christians in Indonesia, Pakistan, and other eastern countries.
"The manipulation of race and religion, such as the blasphemy charge against [Basuki] , in a political campaign to crush an opponent, breaks the long-held taboo against using these issues brazenly to gain political advantage," according to Douglas Ramage, a political analyst in Jakarta who spoke to The New York Times.
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Publication date: December 15, 2016