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Malaysian Church Attacks Tally At Seven

ICC Note

Muslim extremists attacked a total of seven churches in Malaysia over the weekend.

By Michelle MY Chan

01/10/2010 Malaysia (ANS)-More Malaysian churches came under attack today (Sunday, January 10, 2010, as anger escalates over what was linked to a court ruling that allowed Allah to be used by non-Muslims. The fresh attacks were spread in locations away from the capital city, occurring in the north, south and across the South China Sea in East Malaysia .

Two arson attempts occurred in Taiping, a tranquil town 291 kilometres north of here. Molotov cocktails were hurled at the All Saint’s Church, the pioneer Anglican church and one of the country’s precious heritage sites. The staircase of the church was burned, according to reports. In the vicinity, the Convent School also discovered a bomb which did not detonate. This is the first time a school is attacked following the controversy over the usage of Allah in non-Muslim literature.

South of the city in Malacca, black paint was splashed on the outer wall of the Malacca Baptist Church .

Across the South China Sea in Miri, Sarawak , another failed arson attempt against a church was reported to the authorities. This marked the first church attack in East Malaysia .

At press time, the violence against churches number at seven attacks over three days, with zero casualties.

Muslims are divided in their opinions over the attacks. While certain groups are angry, others who take a more moderate stand have rallied to express sympathy and offer help to the afflicted churches.

What confronts Malaysia now is seen as a crisis that threatens the very core of its existence as a multi-racial and religiously pluralistic society; a country with a constitution that guarantees freedom of religion.

Malay-Muslims are the majority at 60% of the population. Proselytizing is unlawful. Most of the 10% of Christians in this country are ethnic Chinese and Indians.

Churches ran Sunday services as usual despite the escalation of the unprovoked attacks. Congregations across the nation have been called to prayer. Pastors have urged their members to love their neighbors under all circumstances.

Pray:

1. For wisdom and courage for the leaders of this nation to do what is right constitutionally

2. God’s mercy upon the country

3. Patient endurance for the church, and God’s protection upon churches and Christians in this nation.

4. Doors of opportunity to do good despite these trying times

5. The Church of Malaysia to be a radiant, shining example in this country