Jakarta’s governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has denied he intended to insult the Quran at the start of his blasphemy trial, marked by rival rallies outside the court.
Ahok is the first non-Muslim governor of Indonesia’s capital in 50 years.
The case is being seen as a test of religious tolerance in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.
The prosecution said Ahok insulted Islam by misusing a Quranic verse which suggests Muslims should not be ruled by non-Muslims, to boost public support ahead of February’s governorship election.
Ahok insisted his comments were aimed at politicians “incorrectly” using a Quranic verse against him, not at the verse itself.
If convicted, Ahok faces a maximum five-year jail sentence. After the short hearing, the trial was adjourned until December 20.