Rev. Franklin Graham. (FNC)
Pastor Franklin Graham called on all people to pray for the Christian governor of Jakarta, Indonesia -- the first Christian leader there in 50 years -- because he is on trial for "blasphemy" against Islam and potentially faces five years in prison, although some hardline Muslims have called for him to be lynched. Indonesia is 87% Muslim.
"We need to pray for the Christian governor of Jakarta, Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, who is on trial for what the Muslim’s are calling blasphemy, which is ridiculous," said Rev. Graham in a Dec. 14 post on Facebook.
"He’s the first non-Muslim governor of the Indonesian capital in more than half a century," said Graham. They’re coming after him because he’s a Christian."
"Hardline Muslim groups have organized protests against him and some have even called for him to be lynched," he said. "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, Ahok Purnama is on trial because in September he "lightheartedly cited a verse of the Quran that warns Muslims against taking Christians and Jews as allies." Ahok said he had directed the comment at “unscrupulous politicians who don’t want to compete fairly in the election."
Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, the Christian governor of Jakarta, Indonesia, on trial for "blasphemy" against Islam. (AP)
Franklin Graham is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the international Christian relief group Samaritan's Purse.
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