Malaysia

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PRAYER ITEMS:
  • Pray for Christian children who are required to attend Islamic education courses required by state-run schools.
  • Pray for the release of three abducted Christian workers in Malaysia who were abducted in 2016 and 2017 without a trace. Pray that the Malaysian government will pursue those responsible for the abduction and bring them to justice.
  • Pray for Christians in Malaysia who are always monitored, intimidated and harassed that they will be free to practice their faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for those who are persecuted that they will stand firm in their faith, despite prevailing opposition.
  • Pray that all Christians in Malaysia will be able to freely access the Bible.
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE NATION:

Malaysia is a former British colony. Its population is highly educated and enjoys economic prosperity. The country is comprised of three major ethnic groups: Malay (60%), Chinese (30%) and indigenous people. Most Christians come from the indigenous groups. The Malays are the most powerful group in the country, and being Muslim is an important part of their identity.

MAJOR RELIGIONS:

Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country with around 61% Sunni Muslims.

PERSECUTION TYPE:

Islamic Oppression. The government of Malaysia severely punishes anyone who leaves Islam.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN THIS NATION:

All children in state-run nursery and primary schools are required to attend Islamic education. In state schools, Muslim pupils (including Christians with a Muslim background) are required to attend Islamic classes. At the university level, Islamic courses are also mandated.

While Christianity is not illegal, the conversion of any of the countries majority ethnic Malay people to Christianity is criminalized as an offense of apostasy. In the state of Perak, for example, apostasy is defined as “(a)ny Muslim who by his word or conduct whatsoever intentionally claims to cease to profess the religion of Islam or declares himself to be non-Muslim.”

Conversion to Suni-Islam is allowed but Muslims who convert to Christianity and are caught are severely persecuted and sent for imprisonment in “reeducation camps” that use brainwashing techniques, torture and propaganda to force Christians to return to Islam. Pastors can also be kidnapped and made to disappear without a trace. On February 13th, 2017, for example, Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted from the streets of Malaysia. Earlier on in 2016, Joshua a Malaysian pastor who had converted from Islam and his wife Ruth Hilmy also went missing. All of these people have never been found since then!

A RAY OF HOPE?

In the Netherlands-based mission Open Doors World Watch List of 2019, “signs of hope” for Christians in Malaysia were revealed when the report indicated that Malaysia had scored an improvement by dropping from 23rd to 42nd out of 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. However, in spite of this significant improvement, the report still designated Malaysia as an unsafe place for Christians and noted that this improvement was just a drop from a country with ‘very high’ persecution to ‘high’ persecution category.

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