Christian Man Whipped Publicly for Selling Alcohol in Indonesia

A man is publicly caned in Indonesia. Getty Images

A Christian man in Indonesia was publicly flogged on Friday for selling alcohol in violation of Islamic law.

The whipping took place outside a mosque in the provincial capital of the conservative Aceh province. He received 36 lashes for the offense. Doctors examined him after he received the first 10 lashes, and the beating continued after it was determined that his health was not at risk.

"This is our government's commitment to enforcing Islamic law," the city's mayor, Aminullah Usman, told local media. "If there is a violation [of Sharia law], immediately report it to the Sharia police, and we will carry out a punishment like today's caning."

Seven other men and two women also were flogged the same day, including an unmarried couple that was punished for standing too close to each other. The couple received 20 lashes each.

A man is publicly beaten in Indonesia as a punishment for alleged crimes. Getty Images

Aceh implemented Sharia law after it was granted autonomy in 2001 in order to placate the separatist Free Aceh Movement that had operated in the province since the 1970s. Around 98 percent of Aceh's population is Muslim, and it is the only Indonesian province that imposes Sharia law.

Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, but the remainder of the country outside of Aceh is governed by a criminal code left over by Dutch colonialists.

"Indonesia is a secular democratic country with strong Islamic influences. Since the early political debates on the topic of the ideological foundations of the Indonesian nation, certain strict Islamic groups, including some political parties, have spoken out for favoring the establishment of a Muslim country," an investment report on Indonesia noted.

"However, as Indonesia contains dozens of millions of non-Muslims as well as a majority of nominal Muslims, the establishment of an Islamic country has always been regarded as being a trigger for disunity and calls for separatism."

In Aceh, Indonesia, a teenager is whipped for spending time in close proximity with her boyfriend who is not her husband, which is against Sharia law. Getty Images

Indonesia has around 250 million inhabitants, around 10 percent of whom are Christian.