Brunei bans “Christmas celebrations” violators to be jailed for 5 years

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Brunei

Brunei has officially banned celebrations of Christmas.

According to details, celebrating Christmas has been officially banned n Brunei. Public celebrations of Christmas have been officially declared illegal in the country. The state had officially banned all future public celebrations of Christmas; which the state claims has been done under Islamic Shariah.

The Southeast Asian country says this ban has been imposed in accordance with the Islamic laws. In this regard, Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs stated that the ban was introduced over rising concerns that Muslims could be led “astray” by Christmas festivities.

The government of Brunei in a statement said that, “Believers of other religions that live under the rule of an Islamic country according to Islam may practice their religion or celebrate their religious festivities among their community, with the condition that the celebrations are not disclosed or displayed publicly to Muslims. Muslims should be careful not to follow celebrations such as these that are not in any way related to Islam… and could unknowingly damage the faith of Muslims.”

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Officials of Brunei reacted strongly when last month, local children and adults wearing Santa outfits were seen in public places. The officials in reaction asked the shop keepers to remove Christmas decorations for sale, but recently the officials have declared a ban on all such public festivities.

The official statement said that spread non-Muslim religious symbols simply violates Brunei’s Section 207(1) of the penal code, which is punished by by a fine of up to BND$20,000 ($15,000), a five-year imprisonment, or both.

Moreover, Muslims who would be seen celebrating Christmas in addition to non-Muslims who will be found to be organizing Christmas celebrations could face up to five years jail. On the other hand Brunei’s non-Muslims, who make up about 32 per cent of the total 420,000 population, are allowed to celebrate Christmas in their own communities given that their celebrations are not disclosed to Muslims.