The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) notes with deep concern the recent acts of escalating tensions on the part of certain groups in respect of the use of the term “Allah” by the Christian community in Malaysia.
In particular we refer to four incidents: the continued singling out of Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of The Herald, for criticism and threats of “mega demonstrations” against him; the advertisement placed in The Star on Saturday 11 January 2014 by the head of the Majlis Agama Islam Selangor attempting to justify the raid by the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor on the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia on 2 January 2014; the demonstration near Shekinah Glory AG Church, Klang on Saturday morning 4 January 2014; and the demonstration by a group of approximately 100 people outside Metro Tabernacle Church in Gombak on Sunday morning 12 January 2014.
We are of the view that none of these incidents was either helpful or prudent in the current environment.
The 10-point solution announced by the Government in April 2011 should have resolved the usage of Bahasa Malaysia and the term “Allah” in the Al-Kitab, the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia. Regrettably, the Government that devised the 10-point solution is now silent about it.
As such, in the absence of any clear direction from the political leadership of our country, what we are witnessing is the mad scramble by any and every group to grab media attention for themselves. It is a sorry reflection of the declining state of affairs. We regret that these groups have felt it necessary to undertake these actions.
The CFM on behalf of the Christian community in Malaysia remains undaunted in the face of these and no doubt future incidents of this nature.
We stand firm and united in our understanding of the principle of the freedom of religion and the equal protection of the law, both of which are guaranteed in our Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
We look to the courts of this land to protect, preserve and defend these cherished principles of our Federal Constitution.
We stand by individuals such as Father Lawrence Andrew and churches that have been singled out to be recipients of unwarranted and undeserved protests, and with the many Christians in this country whose only offence has been a heartfelt desire to worship and address God in their own language.
We bear in mind that 64% of Christians in Malaysia have no other language for their Bible, prayer and worship except for Bahasa Malaysia.
We thank friends and neighbours from other faiths who understand this history and who are standing with us and by us in these dark days.
We call on all peace-loving people in Malaysia and throughout the world to continue to pray for the peace and security of individual Christians, churches and communities, and for justice to prevail in our beloved nation.
Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng
Chairman and the Executive Committee, Christian Federation of Malaysia
This article is available in 3 other languages. Download from the link below:
(15th January 2014)