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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‘Allah’ is forbidden

A panel of judges in Malaysia ruled on Wednesday that The Herald, a Catholic weekly newspaper, has no basis to challenge an earlier federal court order to stop using the word “Allah” in its pages to name God. The Herald’s legal odyssey began  in 2009 when the government said the […]

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In Malaysia, Christmas decried as ‘ploy’ to lead Muslims astray

In Malaysia, Christmas decried as ‘ploy’ to lead Muslims astray

A billboard in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, appeals to national unity in a February 2014 photo. Rising fundamentalist Islam put increased pressure on minorities in the country’s famously multicultural society during the year.Courtesy Open Doors International   For Malaysian Christians, 2014 has been a year when they had to dig deep […]

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Malaysia refuses Church right to appeal ban on use of ‘Allah’

Malaysia refuses Church right to appeal ban on use of ‘Allah’

Almost eight years after the Malaysian Catholic newspaper the Herald first sought to overthrow a government ban on it using the word ‘Allah’ for ‘God’ in its publication the judicial appeal process appears to have ended in failure. A federal court in Kuala Lumpur ruled on June 23 that it […]

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Use of ‘Allah’ still unresolved for Malaysia’s Christians

Use of ‘Allah’ still unresolved for Malaysia’s Christians

Malaysian Christians this week have been anxious about their right to practise their faith without state interference or provocation from militant Islam, as three cases concerning religious freedom have come to court. Much is riding on the legal system to affirm Malaysia’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Christians in Malaysia […]

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‘Allah’ verdict postponed

Malaysia’s Federal Court has reserved judgment on a Catholic newspaper’s application to appeal against a ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ in its publication. In a case which started in 2008, The Herald appealed to the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal’s Oct. 2013 decision to ban […]

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