Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Monday, November 25th, 2013
Christian congregations in two Malaysian states have pledged to continue to use the Arabic word 'Allah' to refer to God despite the possibility that a recent court ruling in the country may result in prosecution for using the word. The debate over the use of 'Allah' to refer to God by anyone other than Muslims has threatened to deepen divides between religious groups in the country. In late 2009, early 2010, a court ruled to protect the right of Christians and other faiths to use the word. The ruling sparked violent protests and at least ten churches were attacked. A court recently overturned that right, leading Christians to fear that their religious freedom will be increasingly curtailed in the Muslim-majority nation.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Recent edicts in Malaysia have forbidden the use of the word Allah by Christians, and some have encouraged Christian sot recognize the supremacy of Islam or emigrate. This trend is opposed by Christians, human rights activists, and Classical Liberals in Malaysia. The Malyasian Insider reports that a parliamentary effort to restore Christian rights was rejected.
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
ICC Note: In a statement made this morning the prime minister of Malaysia, Datuk Razak, promised to continue to defend the the name of "Allah", a statement which may add more fuel to a divisive issue that has Christians and other religious minorities fearful for their human rights. A Malaysian court recently banned the use of the word "Allah" by a Catholic Newspaper even though the Arabic word for God has been used by Christians in the Malay language for several hundred years. In late 2009, when the same Catholic Newspaper originally won the right to continue using the word, violent protests ensued and at least 10 churches were attacked. The current prime minister also won re-election on a campaign that featured anti-Christian posters. The posters showed pictures of churches and said "Do you want your grand children to grow up in this kind of mosque?"
Friday, November 1st, 2013
A new court ruling in Malaysia blocking the use of the Arabic word for God, 'Allah', has quickly been enforced by officials of the Malaysian Home Ministry. Last week 2,000 copies of the Catholic Herald, the newspaper that served as the focal point of the 'Allah' case, were seized at a local airport and checked for any misuse of the word. The copies were later released under pressure from a Christian member of parliament, but the incident has alarmed the Christian population of Malaysia which is increasingly concerned with the imposition of more radical Islamic values on Malaysian society.
Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
In the latest development over the use of the word "Allah" by Christians, the Malaysian government has halted the delivery of 2,000 copies of a Catholic newspaper. Earlier this month a Malaysian court ruled that the Arabic word for God could not be used by non-Muslims, despite the fact that the Malay language version of the Bible has been using the term for several hundred years. The court decision sparked fears that the Islamic population of Malaysia is becoming increasingly radicalized, which may lead to even more restrictions on the rights of religious minorities.
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
In public comments made on Monday at a political "congress", Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Tun Razak attempted to calm concerns faced by the nearly 3 million Christians in Malaysia after a court ruling banned the use of the Arabic word for God, "Allah", from being used by non-Muslims. The Prime Minister said the ban only applied to the Catholic Newspaper sued in the case, saying Christians could continue to use the word and that Malay language Bibles which use the term would not be banned. In late 2009 and early 2010 approximately ten churches were attacked and even bombed by Islamic groups angry over the victory of the Catholic Newspaper, which originally won it's case to use the word to refer to God by the term "Allah". The issue has become a flash-point for rising tensions between religious minorities and what appears to be an increasingly radicalized Islamic population.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
In an unfortunate turn of events for the more than 2 million Christians living in Malaysia, a local court has ruled that Christians will no longer be allowed to use the word 'Allah' to refer to God. According to the Vatican, Christians in Malaysia have been using the word 'Allah' to refer to God for nearly 400 years. The courts decision comes after heavy pressure was exerted by radical Islamist groups who view the growth of Christianity in Malaysia as a threat to Malaysian culture. In late 2009, a court had ruled in favor of Christians using the word 'Allah', sparking protests and bombings at churches around the country. The Malaysian government stepped in to quell the protests by appealing the court decision. Christians in country have said they will appeal the decision to a higher court.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
News from Malaysia seems to indicate that radical Islamic viewpoints are slowly taking hold of the country. Christian observers fear that the rights of Christians in Malaysia may be slowly eroded and the threat of violence over the use of the word "Allah" by Christians is ever-present. Calls for a "Holy Struggle" against Christians on this issue has seriously alarmed many.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Courts are set to deliver a decision on Christian’s right to use the word Allah to speak of God. The case arose over a dispute with a Christian magazine who was opposed by Islamic groups. The case has become a battleground for religious freedom in this country and the level of government interference with religious.
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
While Malaysia remains a far more tolerant Islamic society than many in the Middle East, Christians do occasionally face serious discrimination. Recently a debate in the courts over allowing Christians to continue using the Arabic word 'Allah' to refer to the Christian God has sparked fear that violence over the issue in 2010 could be reignited. The following blog article details the story of one church that forgave their attackers after being firebombed in 2010 and is now thriving.
Saturday, August 24th, 2013
In a move that could potentially destabilize relations between the minority Christian community and radical Islamic political groups, a court has ruled against the motion by the Catholic church to dismiss a challenge which would prevent the Church from using the Arabic word for God, "Allah", in publications. The debate over the use of the word has become a hot button issue after the Church was granted the right to use it by the courts back in 2009, setting off attacks, including bombings, of Christian churches. Catholic leaders fear more violence may be in store if the debate continues to rage on. "Allah" has been used in the Malay language translation of the Bible to describe God for nearly 400 years.
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
In a potentially incendiary comment the Home Minister of Malaysia has publicly stated that the Arabic word for God, Allah, can only be used by Muslims. The issue over the use of the word, which has been printed in Malay language versions of the Bible for almost 400 years, sparked attacks on churches in Malaysia back in 2009 and 2010. Currently a court case is pending over the legality of Christians using the word.
Monday, August 12th, 2013
In Malaysia Christians have been using the Arabic word for God, 'Allah', in their translation of the Bible since 1612. In recent years more radical Islamic groups have taken serious issue with this and demanded Christians stop using the word and discard any Bibles using the word as well. In 2009 a Malaysian court ruled that a Catholic newspaper could continue to use the word 'Allah' to describe God, setting off a series of protests and attacks on churches. Later it was discovered that the government has been impounding shipments of Bibles into Malaysia. The Prime Minister issued a "ten point plan" that Christians believe gives them the right to continue using their translation of the Bible, however the government is continuing in the courts to appeal the Catholic churches right to use the word "Allah." In this article one Archbishop argues for why the government should drop its case.
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
Two weeks ago Muslim activists took to the streets outside of the Vatican’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to demand the expulsion of Archbishop Joseph Marino, calling him an “Enemy of the State.” How did a senior Catholic clergyman manage to incur such popular resentment so quickly? By having the audacity to describe arguments in support of Christians using the word “Allah” for God as “logical and acceptable.”
Thursday, July 25th, 2013
In yet another reported incident of discrimination against non-Muslims coming out of Malaysia, the media recently discovered that non-Muslim children in a primary school were being forced to eat their lunches in the bathroom during Ramadan. Non-Muslim pupils are normally made up of Christian or Hindu students. The discovery has been widely condemned by Muslims in Malaysia, including the Minster of Education, who promised an investigation. The incident is another alarming indicator that discrimination against non-Muslims in Malaysia, which includes several million Christians, is rising in the country.
Sunday, July 21st, 2013
In an escalation of the conflict in Malaysia over the use of the word "Allah" by Christians, Muslim groups have called for the removal of Archbishop Joseph Marino, the Vatican's first envoy to the country, to be recalled by Rome. The Archbishops mistake appears to simply have been calling arguments in favor of the use of Allah by Christians "logical and acceptable." This spurred a strong reaction from Islamic groups accusing the Archbishop in meddling in internal Malaysian affairs. In Malaysia, Christians often face discrimination, especially over the use of the Arabic word "Allah" in the Malay language version of the Bible that has been used for centuries in the country.
Saturday, July 20th, 2013
Malaysia continues to alarm outside observers with indications that Islam is slowly becoming more radicalized in the country. In this recent story, a Christian father believes is daughter, an excellent student, was rejected from multiple public universities because she has a Christian name. The family was actually told that she did not get at least one position because her name "sounded like an English name". Last week one Catholic commentator pointed out that Malaysia is "galloping" towards Islamization.
Monday, July 15th, 2013
At least one Christian Bishop in Malaysia sees signs that the country is headed towards greater radical theology as a bill was introduced to allow the forced conversion of children to Islam should a parent choose to convert. The bill was dropped after it encountered serious uproar but many believe it isn't dead yet. Approximately 9 percent of Malay's are Christian and although there have been few outright attacks on Christians in recent years, some fear the environment is growing worse.
Monday, July 8th, 2013
An alarming new law that proposed to legalize the forced conversion of children to Islam when one parent of the children converted has been temporarily dropped by the Malaysian government. In Malaysia religious affiliation is displayed on I.D. cards and many believe that to be Malay one must be Muslim. Nominal believers in other faiths will sometimes convert to Islam in order to obtain benefits and better treatment. Unfortunately this can lead to their children also being forcibly converted to Islam.
Saturday, July 6th, 2013
Efforts are underway in Malaysia to legalize the forced conversion of children to Islam if one parent, usually the father, decides to convert. In Malaysia special legal status is granted to Muslim citizens and many nominal believers in other faiths sometimes convert in order to receive benefits. This has resulted in their children also being taken to Islamic Centers, given Muslim names, and declared officially Muslim, sometimes against the expresses wishes of the other parent. Christians are concerned that legalization of such forced conversion could see Christian children converted to Islam against their will and the will of one of the parents.
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
The recent re-election of the conservative Barisan Nasional party to power in Malaysia has left the Christian minority, which makes up about 9% of the population, deeply disappointed. In Malaysia minority religions are legally discriminated against and Prime Minister Najib Razak's election campaign even featured anti-church posters. The dispute over the use of the word Allah has also continued under the Prime Minsters government, with attempts to ban the use of the word by Malay Christians, who have been using it for hundreds of years to describe God, continuing as recently as last year.
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
For 400 years Malay Christians have used a translation of the Bible that uses the Arabic word Allah to describe God. The use of the word has become a sensitive issue for some Malay Muslims and multiple efforts have been made by the Malay government and officials to ban the use of the word by Christians. The issue is part of a larger atmosphere of hostility in Malaysia towards non-Muslims. It is illegal for Muslims to convert to Christianity and those who do face not only potential legal repercussions but great social hostility as well.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
As general elections in Malaysia approach the campaign is “becoming dirty” as clear bias and obvious attempts to pit Muslims against Christians is rampant. Christians are being bold as churches ask their congregants to pray (and vote) for a leader that is uncorrupt.
Saturday, April 20th, 2013
Christians in Malaysia face an environment that, while not open to outright persecution, often makes life difficult. Malaysian Christians were recently informed that they could not use the word "Allah" to refer to God and leaving Islam to convert to Christianity is illegal. In addition the government chooses to hold elections on Sunday, making it difficult for some Christians to get out and vote.
Sunday, March 24th, 2013
The Sultan of Malaysia has made it illegal for anyone besides Muslims to use the word ‘Allah,’ putting Christians at risk in a nation whose legal framework tacitly works against the interests of religious minorities.
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
In Malaysia it has recently became illegal for any group except Muslims to use the word Allah when referring to God. For Malay Christians this is difficult to avoid because their version of the Bible uses the Arabic word for God (Allah) to refer to God. Some believe that Islamic militant groups will use this as an excuse to persecute the Christian population.
Friday, January 25th, 2013
For more than 400 years Malay Christians have used the Arabic word for God, Allah, in Christian writings and Malay language Bibles. However an Islamic Sultan in Malaysia recently issued a Fatwa forbidding the use of Allah by Christians. Now threats are coming in from various Islamic groups threatening to burn Bibles, increasing pressure on Christians to back down over the issue.
Sunday, January 13th, 2013
Although Christians in Malaysia have not recently faced outright persecution on a large scale, the debate over the use of the word 'Allah' by Christians and a new fatwa issued by a Malaysian sultan may prove to be the basis for future conflict. Malaysia is predominantly Muslim and Christians can face imprisonment for attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity.