Brunei sultan bans Christmas celebrations in public, offender could face jail

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Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Dec 23: A blanket ban has been put into force on Christmas celebrations in public in oil rich country Brunei, media reported.

If found guilty of celebrating Christmas in public in south east Asian, the offender could face up to five years jail. This was announced by the Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Brunei bans Christmas celebrations

One cannot even exchange festive greetings and the wearing of Santa Claus hats, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Non-Muslim population of the country can hold Christmas celebrations without disclosing it to Muslims. Non-Muslims, who comprise 32 per cent of the 420,000 population in Brunei.

Borneo public have been asked to follow the government edict last year banning celebrations.

Read More: Vice Prez Hamid Ansari returns home after cancelling Brunei visit

Ban on Christmas celebration was first came into force in 2014, it was the same year Brunei adopted a stricter penal code, based on Islamic sharia and including punishments such as stoning and amputation.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah ruled the former British colony for nearly 50 years.

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