Public celebration of Christmas was banned in the Oil-rich Brunei, which include both sending festive greetings and the wearing of Santa Claus hats.
Although non-Muslims in the country, who comprise 32 per cent of the 420,000 population, can celebrate Christmas in their own communities on the condition that the celebrations are not disclosed to Muslims.
Muslims seen celebrating Christmas and non-Muslims found to be organizing celebrations could face up to five years jail.
Imams have told followers in the tiny Borneo nation to follow a government edict last year banning celebrations that could lead Muslims astray and damage their faith, according to the Borneo Bulletin.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the world’s richest men, ordered the introduction of sharia in Brunei last year
“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,”
The statement said non-Muslims disclosing or displaying Christmas celebrations violated the penal code which prohibits propagating religion other than Islam to a Muslim.
the Ministry of Religious Affairs said in a statement explaining the edict that was published in the Brunei Times.
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