Malaysia’s Constitution defines ethnic Malays as Muslims, leaving Malays with no choice but to identify as Muslim. Conversion to Christianity is against the law in almost all states, as is evangelism among Malay Muslims. Political, social and religious instability is on the rise, while increasing intolerance towards Chinese, Indian and indigenous tribespeople affects Christians, too, as most belong to these minority groups. Political parties like the ruling UMNO and opposition PAS uphold and protect Islam, and government officials therefore strive to maintain or increase the Islamic influence on society to the detriment of non-Muslim minorities, e.g. by running Islamization strategies. Various Muslim NGOs see themselves as “champions of Islam” and have the support of the government. Their statements and actions often stir up racial disharmony and religious discrimination.

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Malaysia’s new chief justice is a Catholic

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Malaysia. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

A Catholic has been appointed as the new chief justice in majority-Muslim Malaysia, reports the Catholic news agency UCAN. The appointment of Richard Malanjum, 65, from Sabah state on the predominantly Christian island of Borneo, follows elections in May in which the Barisan Nasional coalition government was ousted. It “signifies […]

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Malaysia: Nearly 500 days since his abduction, Raymond Koh’s wife renews call for action

Susanna Liew (r), wife of Pastor Koh, supports Che Mat's wife, Norhayati Mohd Afriffin (l), as she calls for her husband's release at the meeting on Sunday (24 June). (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Dozens of people came together in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (24 June) to call for the release of pastor Raymond Koh, social activist Amri Che Mat and Christian couple Joshua and Ruth Hilmy, and for further investigation into their disappearances. At least 60 people met with the families […]

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Malaysian bishops: ‘We need leaders who truly care for the people’

Malaysian bishops: ‘We need leaders who truly care for the people’

For the first time in six decades, several high-profile Malaysian church leaders have publicly called for a change of government. On 24 April the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia issued a pastoral letter, saying: “We need to choose leaders who truly care for the rakyat [people], promote justice and equality, stand […]

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Malaysian Federal Court refuses four people their right to affirm Christian identity

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Malaysia. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

Malaysia’s highest court dismissed an appeal today (27 February) against four appellants who wanted to be formally recognised as Christians. The five judges of the Malaysian Federal Court ruled that in matters of conversion away from Islam, it was necessary for them to consult the Islamic Sharia courts. The president […]

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Malaysia’s reputation as moderate Muslim nation hangs by a thread

Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia is seen by most Western countries as one of the moderate Muslim nations, an ally to be cultivated and befriended in the battle against militant Islam. The country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was among one of the leaders to visit US President Donald Trump in his first year of […]

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Malaysia church attacks highlight growth of Islamic extremism

Malaysia church attacks highlight growth of Islamic extremism

Located within easy reach of three active centres of Islamic extremism – Mindanao in the Philippines, Arakan in Myanmar and the southern provinces of Thailand – Malaysia has become a breeding ground for IS recruitment, weapon smuggling and communication, according to the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research. […]

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