Jakarta’s Christian governor choked back tears as he gave an impassioned defence against blasphemy charges on Tuesday, in a court case that has stoked fears of growing intolerance in the Muslim-majority nation. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – the first Christian to govern the capital in more than 50 years – is standing trial accused of insulting the Quran, an offence that carries a five-year jail term. The governor has apologised for his controversial remarks, which angered Muslims across

Indonesia and drew hundreds of thousands to the streets of Jakarta in protests larger than any seen in nearly two decades. Facing court for the first time, the governor gave an emotionally charged defence against the charges, pausing several times to compose himself as he maintained his innocence. “I know I have to respect the holy verses of the Quran. I do not understand how I can be said to have offended Islam,” Mr Purnama said, occasionally dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief. READ MORE