|Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah|
The small oil-rich nation of Brunei, in Asia, that prohibits propagation of any other religion apart from Islam, has banned Christmas celebration, threatening celebrators with five years in jail. Other banned activities, according to a decree by Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah include putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs and sending Christmas greetings, reported the Borneo Bulletin.
While non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate the holiday within their own communities, they must not disclose their plans to the nation’s Muslims – which make up 65 per cent of the 420,000-strong population. Around 20 per cent of Brunei’s residents are non-Muslim, including substantial Buddhist and Christian communities.
‘These enforcement measures are…intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community,’ said the Ministry of Religious Affairs in a statement.
Some Burnei residents, however, are risking jail time by still celebrating Christmas and uploading pictures to social media as part of a #MyTreedom campaign that celebrates religious freedom.
*Originally reported by Mail Online