But after losing Jakarta race, Ahok finds some favor in court.
The blasphemy charges that cost Indonesia’s top Christian politician his re-election race won’t send him to jail.
Just a day after Basuki Purnama—popularly known as Ahok—conceded the runoff for governor of Jakarta, prosecutors recommended a light sentence of two years probation instead of the maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Ahok, a double minority in the archipelago as a Christian and as a citizen who is ethnically Chinese, secured approval ratings as high as 70 percent in the capital region during his campaign. But when the anti-corruption crusader was accused of distorting a Qur‘an teaching to convince the nation’s overwhelming Muslim majority to vote for a Christian, public opinion shifted dramatically.
Ahok repeatedly denied the claims as a translation error, and accused Indonesia’s hardline Muslim groups of coordinating an attack against him. He ultimately conceded Wednesday’s election, trailing in the polls by less than 10 percentage points.
But Christians’ prayers were answered the following day, when government prosecutors decided to end the trial against him, CBN reported. The official sentencing ruling will come in early May.
“Ahok is very positive. He says that everything is in God’s hands and that everything has a purpose,” said Lucille Talusan, CBN’s Indonesia correspondent. “Even if he is under trial for what is happening in his life, he believes that one day God is going to bring him back to his calling. The first thing in his heart is to serve his people in Indonesia.”
The 50-year-old still sees a future for himself in Indonesian politics and hopes to be president. Indonesia still hasn’t ever directly elected …