Purnama said that he would appeal the court's guilty verdict and sentence.

Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama sits on the defendant's chair as he attends his sentencing hearing in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

Wayan Sudirta, a lawyer for Ahok, said there was "so much pressure" for Ahok to be imprisoned.

By early evening, hundreds of angry supporters had gathered at the high-security prison, some pushing hard against a tall metal gate and others setting a tire alight. She said that the outcome "is potentially risky for the development of justice and law in the country". It sparked massive anti-Ahok protests in the city, boosting hard-line Islamic groups that said it would be a sin for Muslims to vote for a non-Muslim.

An edited version of his speech was posted online and went viral, sparking mass demonstrations against him including one that drew around half a million protesters.

The verdict comes a day after Indonesia's president banned a hardline Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia, because it threatened national unity with its protests against Ahok and other activities, reports AsiaNews. "The verdict will tarnish Indonesia's reputation as a tolerant nation". Vigilante groups frequently attempt with impunity to prevent Indonesia's religious minorities from practicing their faiths, and the country's gay community has faced a surge in persecution in the past two years. Thousands of conservative Muslims took to the streets of the Indonesian capital to call for the jailing of the minority Christian governor who is on trial on charges of blaspheming the Quran.

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The Ministry of Home Affairs is set to appoint Jakarta Vice Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat as acting governor after Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama was sentenced to two years in prison today for committing blasphemy against Islam.

Purnama lost a re-election bid in last month's election to Muslim candidate, Anies Baswedan.

Mr Purnama became Jakarta's first non-Muslim governor for 50 years when he took over from Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who was elected president in 2014.

"Hard-liners will feel emboldened by the ruling, given that the trial represents a wider tussle between pluralism and Islamism in Indonesia", said Hugo Brennan, an analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a political risk assessment firm in Singapore. "Therefore we will appeal", he said.

A five-judge panel found Ahok "legally and convincingly" guilty of blasphemy.

Amnesty International calls on the Indonesian authorities to repeal blasphemy laws, including Articles 156 and 156 (a) of the Criminal Code that have been used to prosecute and imprison people may be imprisoned for "defamation" of religion for as long as five years simply because they have peacefully exercised their right to freedom of expression or to freedom of thought, conscience or religion, which are protected under international human rights law.