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Indonesian Atheist Attacked, Faces Jail Time After Posting 'God Doesn't Exist' On Facebook

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The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/20/2012 5:26 pm Updated: 01/31/2012 10:30 am

After surviving an attack from an angry mob, an Indonesian atheist is facing jail time for posting the phrase "God doesn't exist" on his Facebook page.

The man, who is being identified only as Alexander, posted the message on the social networking site and was later reported to authorities by the Indonesian Council of Ulema, an Islamic religious authority, according to the Telegraph.

Alexander arrived for work at a government office Wednesday, where he was met and attacked by a mob of people upset by his beliefs.

He was arrested on Friday and charged with blasphemy against Islam, a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.

According to the Telegraph, officials were upset because they "believed Mr. Alexander had defiled Islam by using passages from the Koran to denounce God."

An Indonesian law prohibits people from speaking out against any of the country's six recognized religions.

In addition to legal trouble, Alexander's post may also cost him his job, the BBC reports.

Alexander grew up Muslim, but questioned the existence of God, angels and heaven, the Jakarta Post reports. He learned about atheism while attending college in Bandung, West Java.

According to a local police chief, Alexander said he's not going down without a fight.

"He said he realized what he had said and was prepared to lose his job to defend his beliefs," Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Chairul Azis told the Jakarta Post.

In addition to questioning God on his own page, Alexander managed a Facebook group about atheism that had more than 1,200 followers, the AFP reports.

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