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surveyork
13:33

Alex Aan, a 30-year-old civil servant, is a gentle, soft-spoken, highly intelligent young man who simply gave up his belief in God when he saw poverty, war, famine and disaster around the world.

He faces the possibility of up to six years in prison, charged with blasphemy, disseminating hatred and spreading atheism. Radical Muslims came to his office, beat him up, and called the police after reading about his views on Facebook.

Alex is the first atheist in Indonesia to be jailed for his belief, but his case is symptomatic of a wider increase in religious intolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. The previous Sunday, I joined a small church in Bekasi, a suburb of Jakarta, for a service, but found the street blocked by a noisy, angry mob and a few police.

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