Malaysia: more Allah attacks

2010-01-10 19:34

Kuala Lumpur - Firebombs were thrown at three more churches in Malaysia on Sunday and another was splashed with black paint, the latest in a series of assaults on Christian houses of worship following a court decision allowing non-Muslims to use "Allah" to refer to God.

Despite the attacks, thousands of Christians nationwide attended Sunday services and prayed for national unity and an end to the violence.

On Sunday, a Molotov cocktail was hurled at the All Saints Church in Taiping town in central Perak state early in the morning before it opened, said state police chief Zulkifli Abdullah. He told The Associated Press police found burn marks on the wall but there was no damage to the building.

A broken kerosene bottle with an unlit wick was found early Sunday inside the compound of the St Louis Catholic church, also in Taiping, said the Rev David Lourdes. He said it appeared to be a failed attack.

In southern Malacca state, the outer wall of the Malacca Baptist Church was splashed with black paint, police said.

Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said a church in Miri town in eastern Sarawak state on Borneo island also reported an arson attempt.

"The situation is under control and the people should not be worried," he was quoted as saying by the national Bernama news agency. An aide confirmed his comments but couldn't give further details.

Four churches were hit by petrol bombs on Friday and Saturday. No one was hurt and all suffered little damage, except the Metro Tabernacle Church. Parishioners there moved services after fire gutted the first floor. The other churches held regular services on Sunday.

The unprecedented attacks have set off a wave of disquiet among Malaysia's minority Christians and strained their ties with the majority Malay Muslims.

The dispute is over a December 31 High Court decision that overturned a government order banning non-Muslims from using the word "Allah" in their prayers and literature. The court was ruling on a petition by Malaysia's Roman Catholic Church, whose main publication, the Herald, uses the word Allah in its Malay-language edition. The government has appealed the verdict.

Muslims 60 %

About 9% of Malaysia's 28 million people are Christian, most of whom are ethnic Chinese or Indian. Muslims make 60% of the population and most of them are ethnic Malays.

On Sunday, men, women and children from the Metro Tabernacle parish assembled in the cavernous, 1 800 seat meeting hall of the Malaysian Chinese Association party for the service. They lifted their hands and sang "We put all our faith in you," and "You are the God of love and peace."

"My wife was worried, but we want to be here to support the church," said Michael Chew, 40, who came with two children, aged 1 and 6.

Rev Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia, said Christians won't be intimidated by the attacks, describing them as the work of an extremist minority among Muslims.

"We all have to stand together to stamp out terror perpetuated by these extremist groups," he said.

The government contends that making Allah synonymous with God may confuse Muslims and ultimately mislead them into converting to Christianity.

Still, government leaders and many Muslims have condemned the firebombings, saying it is un-Islamic to attack places of worship.

Prime Minister Najib Razak visited the Metro Tabernacle church late on Saturday and announced a grant of $147 000 for rebuilding it at a new location, a major concession in a country where permission is rarely given for building new churches or temples.

The Allah ban is unusual in the Muslim world. The Arabic word is commonly used by Christians to describe God in such countries as Egypt, Syria and Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation.

- AP
Read more on:    najib razak  |  malaysia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior .Net Developer

Rondebosch
Korbitec (Pty) Ltd

Quality Engineer

Western Cape
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R30 000 - R50 000 Per Month

BEE Consultant

Somerset West
Helderberg Personnel cc
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.