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Indonesian Atheist Jailed for Blasphemous Facebook Post

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By Christine Thomasos, Christian Post Reporter
January 24, 2012|7:44 am

A 31-year-old man was recently detained by authorities in Indonesia for expressing an unbelief in God on Facebook.

Alexander Aan, 31, may face five years in jail after creating a Facebook post centering around his unbelief in God.

"God does not exist," Aan wrote on his Facebook.

In Indonesia, most residents are Muslim, however Christians have been granted permission to practice. Still, atheism is illegal in Indonesia, causing Aan to face five years in jail for blasphemy.

Although his country does not tolerate atheism, the civil servant posted some questions stemming from his unbelief in God.

"If God exists, why do bad things happen?" Aan continued, according to The Daily Telegraph. "There should only be good things if God is merciful."

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The Islamic religious authority known as the Indonesian Council of Ulema, said that Alexander went into the government office in which he worked in Dharmasraya, western Sumatra on Wednesday. However, he received a beating from those who opposed his Facebook post.

After Alexander used passages from the Quran to speak ill about God, Senior Commander Chairul Aziz, the police chief for Dharmasraya said the "ulema" thought he had blasphemed God, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Although Alexander was reportedly born Muslim, he strayed from the faith in 2008, after reportedly analyzing the amount of ill fortune taking place in the word. Authorities officially arrested and charged him with blasphemy on Friday and he could face five years of imprisonment.

Despite the media coverage, Alexander's recent arrest was not the first made on charges of blasphemy. Antonius Richmond Bawengan,a 58-year-old Christian located in Central Java was sentenced to the maximum five year prison sentence for blasphemy after handing out published works speaking out against Islam.

Almost one year after Bawengan's verdict that caused angry rioters to vandalize Christian property and harm church officials, Alexander is awaiting his verdict.

 

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