Some of you might have heard in the news about the happenings in Malaysia. In short, the native language of a large number of indigenous Christians is Malay which, as a majority of the Malays of the Muslim faith, has a lot of Arabic words. In the Bibles of the Malay language used by these native Christians (as early as the 1800's), the title Lord God is rendered as Tuhan Allah. And Allah is frequently used to refer to God the Father.
Allah as you all know is the name of the god of the Muslims. And my position on the equivalence of the Muslim and Christian God is pretty clear. There is none and though the words are the same, when a Christian uses Allah, and a Muslim uses Allah, they refer to different entities. Please refer to my post, "There is only one God and Jesus is His Son" for more details.
Anyway, this longstanding use of Allah was recently forbidden in the Catholic Herald, a weekly publication which also appears in the Malay language. Non adherence was threatened with a revocation of the publication permit. So the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, as the publisher of the Herald, challenged this decision in court and, the legal and historical facts being presented, won the case.
Ignorant of these facts, the majority of Muslims think that the Christians are only now beginning to use Allah to refer to God and think this will confuse Muslims and are madly and irrationally angry, as Muslims often get. And so, things like the burning of Churches occur. May protest marches are also being planned. But the majority of the people have no clue of what is actually going on or what the issue is.
D0 pray for us in Malaysia and may the Lord Jesus return soon. Maranatha.
PETALING JAYA, Jan 8 — A Catholic church next to the Assunta Hospital here came under attack early this morning, just hours after another church in nearby Kuala Lumpur was torched.
Roman Catholic church officials said some homemade explosives were lobbed into the Church of the Assumption in Jalan Templar at about 4am.“It did not explode,” said Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of Catholic paper Herald.
Lawrence was himself informed of the incident through a text message sent out by Assumption parish priest Father Phillips Muthu.
“Someone threw homemade kerosene explosives into Assumption Church, Jalan Templar, Petaling Jaya at 4am. Am going to Police later. Earlier the Metro Tabernacle was burned in Desa Melawati, media has filed story,” said the message forwarded toThe Malaysian Insider.
This is the second such reported attack on a church in the last 12 hours.
A Protestant church, Metro Tabernacle in leafy Desa Melawati, was torched at around midnight.
The fire took out the church's administrative office, which is housed on the ground floor of its three-storey premises.
Eyewitnesses recounted seeing several people on motorcycles stopping in front of the church and smashing the glass windows to pour flammable liquid and igniting the blaze.
Church officials have reported the attack to the police.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohamad Sabtu Osman said it was too early to link the attack on the church to Muslim protests over a High Court ruling allowing the weekly Herald to publish the word “Allah” to refer to God in the Christian context.
“'We are still investigating,”' he is reported to have said.
Mohamad Sabtu also warned Muslims not to take part in planned protests at several mosques in the Klang Valley after Friday prayers.
The mercury is expected to rise and all fire stations have been put on the alert.
The police have also tightened their nightly patrols around churches in the past week following the High Court ruling on Dec 31.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — A city church in the leafy Desa Melawati suburb was set on fire at midnight as police warned angry Muslim groups not to protest a controversial ruling allowing Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” in its national language section.
The attack on the Metro Tabernacle A/G, an Assemblies of God church in Jalan 4/4C Desa Melawati, completely gutted its administrative office on the ground floor. There were no reported injuries in the midnight attack.
Police have yet to identify the attackers and no one has claimed responsibility for the attack which could be related to anger over the Dec 31 court ruling. The judgment has been suspended pending government appeal.
According to an eyewitness who had just finished a drink at a coffeeshop located directly across the church, three or four persons on two motorcycles stopped in front of the church.
"They proceeded to break the glass panels on the ground floor before pouring some flammable liquid and setting off a fire," said a statement issued by the church.
The church is housed in a three-storey shoplot with the office on the ground floor. Church officials have lodged a police report over the incident.
Earlier in the night, the judiciary website was defaced and later taken offline.
The Metro Tabernacle is not affiliated to the Roman Catholic Church which had challenged a 2007 order to stop using “Allah” to describe the Christian God in the Herald's Bahasa Malaysia section.
The Herald is tightly circulated among the mainly Muslim country's estimated 850,000 Catholics who worship in English, Mandarin, Tamil and Bahasa Malaysia.
The Roman Catholic Church had agreed not to object to suspend the judgment out of "national interests" as Muslim groups objected to the ruling and threatened to protest.
The groups have organised protests after Friday prayers at two mosques in Kuala Lumpur today despite police orders not to proceed.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his cousin Home Minister Datuk Hishamuddin Hussein have backed the right to protest within mosque grounds to the chagrin of many who have been previously detained at opposition gatherings.
Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohamad Sabtu Osman said it was premature to link the attack on the church to the protests over the Allah ban.
''We are still investigating,'' he told the Associated Press. He also urged Muslims not to participate in the planned protests, adding that police would be stationed at mosques to monitor the situation.
Police limit gatherings in public to five people and usually take tough action, including using tear gas and chemically-laced water from water cannons, to disperse protests.