ICC NOTE: A local Islamist party president in Malaysia recently spoke out against Christianity stating it has spread in Southeast Asia and other parts of the East because educated regions of the world like Europe have rejected the faith. He later accused missionaries and churches of using unethical methods in their evangelism practices including bribery. the Bishop of the Anglican Church in the Malaysian province of Sarawak spoke out in frustration after returning home from a meeting of church leaders in England. During the meeting, church leaders spoke towards cooperation against the Islamic State as it has become a common enemy to all faiths. However, upon returning to Malaysia the bishop was perturbed at hearing the volatile rhetoric from the Islamic leader. Malaysia’s state religion is Islam, but they protest freedom of religion in their constitution as current figures place the Christian population just under ten percent.
1/22/2016 Malaysia (Malaysian Insider) – The Bishop of the Anglican Church’s Kuching Diocese in Sarawak has joined in the furore over PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s remarks against Christian missionaries in Sarawak and Sabah.
Datuk Bolly Lapok, who is also the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southeast Asia, said the Islamist party president was a “loose cannon” and a person of “no substance”, and who had no right to talk about Christians and Sarawak’s indigenous people, the Dayaks, in such a disparaging manner.
“With due respect to him as a one of the political leaders, Hadi (should) put all of his condemning words in a basket and throw it into our Sarawak river. He (is) plainly mischievous,” Bolly said of Hadi’s recent remarks that Christian missionaries spread their teachings in Africa and in Sabah and Sarawak after being rejected in the West.
Hadi’s remarks were published in the PAS organ, Harakah.
“I do not know what sort of books he is reading, what sources he is quoting or how he reached that observation. He is a person of no substance and has no right to talk about Christians or the Dayaks in Sarawak,” Bolly said in an interview with The Malaysian Insider.
Hadi had said, “Kristian sudah tidak laku di negara di mana tahap pendidikan tinggi seperti Jerman, Perancis, Britain dan negara Eropah lain. Mereka juga membawa ajaran itu ke kawasan pedalaman negara kita seperti Sabah dan Sarawak. (Christianity is no longer attractive in countries where there is a high level of education, such as Germany, France, Britain and other European countries. They brought their teaching to the interiors of our country like Sabah and Sarawak.)
Hadi had also said that Christian missionaries used unethical means to spread their faith, such as giving money and other incentives.
Bolly today slammed these remarks, and said that Sarawak’s history showed that Christians in the state, the majority of whom are Dayak people, would disagree that they had been exploited.
“Humans are imperfect, but to dismiss the whole missionary movement as rejected in Europe is completely arrogant and mischievous,” Bolly said.
Christianity is recorded as having come to Sarawak in the 1930s through missionaries.
Bolly, who is also chairman of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM), said he heard of Hadi’s remarks on Wednesday when he arrived home from the Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion in Canterbury, England.