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Missions

Pray For Christians In Malaysia

Dear friends,

This is serious. After half a dozen trips to Malaysia, and meeting
pastors who were part of the 'crack-down' against any who were running a
Malay-speaking church service etc. in 1988 I think it was (some of whom
were tortured while in prison), I'm concerned that our Christian friends
there are about to be threatened again. Pray for them.

~~~~~

 ***** PROPOSED MALAYSIAN LAW

     We received the following email from workers in
     Malaysia which is being circulated among the churches
     in Malaysia.

     Dear friends,

     There is an urgent need to pray for Christian Malays in
     Malaysia & all mission work that is going on among the
     Muslims.  I am never in the habit of writing chain
     mails but I drafted this email in response to the
     article on "page 2 of 17 April 98 of The Straits
     Times".  Please circulate to all your Christian friends
     out there...  The New Straits Times article says ...
     GIVE UP YOUR FAITH AND GO TO JAIL
     ???????????????????????????  In brief, the article says
     that a new Bill is in its final stages of drafting to
     curb the "problem" of Muslims converting to another
     religion and the Proposed Bill is ... "MALAYSIA MUSLIMS
     WHO REJECT THEIR ISLAMIC FAITH MAY BE JAILED UP TO
     THREE (3) YEARS !"  I am not circulating this to invoke
     any resentment against the government of Malaysia
     because I believe that my struggle is not against flesh
     and blood but against the powers of this dark world and
     against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly
     realms (Ephesians 6:12).  My purpose of drafting this
     chain mail is to start up a wave of prayer for the
     Muslims in particularly Malaysia.  I wish to invoke, in
     all born-again Christians, this burden to pray and fast
     for the Christian Malays in Malaysia and all the
     mission work that is going on among the Muslims.  This
     Bill, if passed by the Malaysia Cabinet will set back
     Christian Missionary Work among the Malaysia Muslims by
     a great extent and much persecution will arise among
     the Christian Malays in Malaysia.  Churches that have
     Malay congregations will be refused of their license
     and even be forced to close down and go underground.
     As Paul urge Timothy, in the same manner I urge you, my
     fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to start putting
     on your full armour of God and start interceding for
     all the Saints of God (Malay Christians and
     Missionaries) and particularly the Cabinet Leaders in
     Malaysia.  Paul wrote to Timothy, "I urge, then, first
     of all, that requests prayers, intercession and thanks
     giving be made for everyone - for kings and all those
     in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives
     in all godliness and holiness." (1 Tim 2:1-2)  As how
     the apostles, in conclusion, exhorted the Hebrews, in
     the same way I beseech you, to "Remember those in
     prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those
     who are mistreated as if you yourselves were
     suffering." (Hebrews 13:3)

     PLEASE pray:

     a.   for protection and wisdom for the Malay
          Christians;
     b.   for more Malay conversions especially among the
          families of the lawmakers and rulers;
     c.   that Polarization over religious issues will not
          split society;
     d.   for the salvation of government officials;
     e.   that this law would not pass; and
     f.   that the local church would become a strong
          governing entity, and seriously take it upon them
          selves to organize effective outreach to the
          Malays.

3.   ***** MALAYSIA

     Malaysia is an Islamic stronghold in tropical SE Asia,
     and is about the size of the US state of New Mexico
     (329,750 sq km).  Most parts of the country have
     traditionally been ruled by hereditary rulers called
     Sultans.  The 21,000,000 people are composed of: Malay
     and other indigenous 58%, Chinese 26%, Indian 7%,
     others 9%.  Although the country is multi-racial and
     multi-cultural, there is little mixing between the
     races.  British colonizers found Chinese entrepreneurs
     in settled areas and encouraged the Buddhist Chinese to
     stay in business, and the Muslim Malay to enter
     government service.  Indians were brought in to work
     the rubber plantations and staff the police forces and
     some professions.  Today the three Asian people groups
     have their own private schools with distinct uniforms.

     The Malay people turned to Islam when sea faring Arab
     traders came with the teachings of their Prophet
     Muhammad in the 14th century.  Today they are one of
     the world's most resistant and unreached people groups.
     Although Muslims comprise only about 51% of the
     population, Islam is the official religion.  No country
     organizes the pilgrimage to Mecca like Malaysia does.
     The trip lasts a month and pilgrims receive a package
     deal that covers food and hotels as well as
     transportation.

     It is acceptable for non-Malays to be converted to
     Islam and many are openly encouraged to do so, through
     either marriage or economic incentive but it is against
     the Constitution to convert a Muslim to another
     religion.  However the constitution is fuzzy enough to
     allow for Malays to CHOOSE to convert on their own
     accord, but this loophole may be closed with a new law
     currently being discussed in parliament.  Missionaries
     to Muslims have often turned to the more receptive
     Chinese and Indians, with good success, after giving up
     on the Malay Muslims.  The few hundred Malay in
     Malaysia who believe in Jesus have suffered social
     ostracism, loss of legal rights, loss of the economic
     privileges of being a Malay, jobs, and sometimes home
     and country.  Many have moved to Singapore.  In 1987, a
     few converts were arrested and kept in solitary
     confinement.  Eventually, they left Malaysia.  Due to
     economic and political injustices Malaysian Christians
     generally do not have a heart for their Malay
     neighbours.  While the Church is strong and is now a
     missionary sending body, little outreach, and no
     coordinated outreach whatsoever, is done for the
     Malays.  It is often left up to the individual minister
     to decide whether or not they will even attempt to
     reach the other half of the population.  Those that set
     their hearts to it have had good success.  Recent
     legal/political developments include the proposed law
     making it a punishable offence for a Malay to convert
     to another religion (read "Christianity").  This Bill
     is a reaction to the conversion of a Malay woman to
     Christianity earlier this year (1998) for the purpose
     of marriage, a common source of conversion to Islam in
     Malaysia.

     Sources:

http://www.calebproject.org/nance/n712.htm

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