The Disappearance of a Malaysian Pastor’s Wife
08/29/2020 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – November 2016 was the last time Ruth Sitepu, an Indonesian Christian married to a Malay husband, appeared before anyone’s eyes.
Along with her husband, Joshua Hilmy, Ruth mysteriously disappeared and have not been heard from since. Almost four years have passed, but there is no clear light on whether they were forcibly disappeared or kidnapped.
The latest investigation on this couple’s case was held by Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) on August 24.
Their family suspected that the two of them had disappeared since certain groups in Malaysia were antipathy towards their evangelism efforts. Sharing the teachings of other religions to Muslims is prohibited in Malaysia.
Ruth’s younger sister, Ram Ram Elisabeth, told BBC, “She often invites people to [accept] Christianity, so a lot of people don’t like it. Her husband has told her. She said, ‘we only invite them, if they agree, then OK’.” She added that the couple shared Christianity daily.
Before Ruth disappeared, Elisabeth admitted that she had heard rumors about people being upset at the activities of her sister and Joshua.
Suhakam has yet to conclude on the couple’s case. Since the investigation is still ongoing, Suhakam would not reveal the testimonies they have received so far. In a written statement, they stated that they had extracted information from eight witnesses. The investigation is scheduled to end October 14.
A Suhakam inquiry in April 2019 concluded that Pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat who also disappeared mysteriously were victims of “enforced disappearance by state agents.” Pastor Koh’s abduction was captured by a CCTV nearby, showing his forcible removal similar to a police modus operandi. Suhakam suspects that his abduction was done by a special police branch.
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