Brunei has banned public celebrations of Christmas, warning that putting up festive decorations or singing carols could threaten the country’s Muslim faith.
The conservative Islamic country on the island of Borneo allows non-Muslims to celebrate Christmas, but only within their communities, and they must first alert the authorities.
At least 65 per cent of the 420,000-strong population of the oil-rich state are Muslims.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs said in a statement: “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.”
In a warning to Muslims earlier this month, a group of Imams warned that any celebration “not in any way related to Islam” could lead to “‘tasyabbuh’ (imitation) and unknowingly damage the ‘aqidah’ (faith) of Muslims”.