Monday, 29 August 2011

Those Dangerous Christians

Apparently, the powers that be in Malaysia have determined that the influence of those dangerous Christians must be curtailed at every opportunity:
'KUALA LUMPUR — A raid by state Islamic enforcers on a church function in predominantly Muslim Malaysia has stirred religious tensions and revived fears of growing Islamisation in the multi-ethnic country.

Officials swooped on a dinner at a Methodist church hall outside the capital Kuala Lumpur on August 3, saying they had information that a group of Muslims were being converted, which is prohibited in much of the country.

The relatively tame incident has unnerved some in one of Southeast Asia's most prosperous nations, where religion and race are intertwined and the various ethnic groups have generally co-existed peacefully.

The Damansara Utama Methodist Church denied the event was held to convert Muslims, but Islamic officials and pro-government media pounced on the case to allege a widespread Christian proselytising campaign.'

Click on the post title to read the full report.

What I find most disturbing about this is the suggestion that the Malaysian government is persecuting policing Christians more strictly in a cynical attempt to curry favour with conservative Muslims, who are otherwise likely to vote for the Islamic opposition party in an upcoming election.

Lutheran readers may be interested to know that there are four Lutheran synods in Malaysia. When at seminary I had the opportunity to meet Bishop Julius Paul, the former primate of the ELCM (a primarily Tamil church resulting from Indian migration to Malaysia in the 19th century) who was in several of my classes. The current bishop of the ELCM, Solomon Rajah, is also, if I remember correctly, a graduate of Luther Seminary/Australian Lutheran College, which has played an important role in promoting confessional Lutheranism in the SE Asian region, where many of the synods have unionist or pietist roots.

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