The Sultan of Brunei has declared that anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas could face a five year jail sentence, according to reports.
The conservative Muslim country on the island of Borneo stated the punishment would apply to anyone found sending festive greetings – or wearing Santa
Non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate Christmas – but they must do so only within their communities and first alert 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".