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Brunei Bans Xmas Celebration in Public

Brunei has banned Christmas celebrations in public on concerns that it poses a threat to the Muslim faith, local media reported Monday. Anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas, which includes sending festive greetings and wearing Santa hats, could face up to five years in jail. At least 65 percent of Brunei’s population of 420,000 are Muslims. Non-Muslims, who make up 32 percent of the tiny Borneo sultanate, are allowed to celebrate within their communities as long as they alert authorities. The nation’s ministry of religious affairs said in a statement the ban was “intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community.”