Malaysian Christians leaving Malaysia?

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

(Photo courtesy Open Doors USA)

Malaysia (MNN) — Laws imposing Sharia (Islamic) law in one state in Malaysia are on hold, as secular government and Christians leaders cry “foul.” In 1993, the State of Kelantan passed legislation that allowed for beatings and even amputations as punishment for theft and other actions considered crimes under the Koran.

Currently, they those laws can’t be enforced. Why? They violate Malaysia’s constitution. What could allow them to be imposed? A change in Malaysia’s constitution.

Is this possible?

A Christian friend of Mission Network News, who lives in Malaysia says, “Not right now.” However, “As creeping Islamization continues, as Muslims continue to have many more children than non-Muslims, the demographics will continue to change.”

We’re not identifying the friend of MNN for security reasons. He says Malaysia is considered a Muslim nation: “This was meant as a ceremonial religion. That means, if you need a religious ceremony for a state function, then it should be Islam. [It’s similar to] the U.K. — if you need a religious function [there], it’s the Church of England.”

Creeping Islamization is changing that philosophy. Our MNN friend in Malaysia says that’s revealing itself in what some call Little Mullah Napoleons. What are they? “Civil servants who are Muslims in position of certain authority, arbitrarily making rules that restrict the freedom of non-Muslims.”

Our friend believes it’s getting worse. “There’s the general feeling among non-Muslims, and even among moderate Muslims, that we’re losing the secular nature of our state.”

Muslims and non-Muslims alike are concerned that the Islamic State (or Daesh) could make its way into the country. He doesn’t think that will happen…yet. “Certainly the ruling coalition government is firmly against it because they would be dead if Daesh ever takes over. [And], the average Muslim, I think, in Malaysia, would be appalled if Daesh ever takes over.”

Despite that, Malaysian Christians are concerned about their religious freedom. It’s created a “spirit drain,” of sorts. “A lot of Christians in Malaysia have left the country–moved to greener pastures like in Australia and the United States. We’ve had Christian leaders who have written and spoken out about this issue saying, ‘Look, are you serving Christ, or are you serving mammon?'”

Legislators intend on bringing up the restructured Kelantan Sharia legislation in parliament, but almost all parties, both from the ruling coalition and the opposition coalition, oppose doing so.

Our friend is asking you to pray for Christians who are ethnic Chinese, Tamil, Indian, natives, and other people groups. “We’ve got religion. We’ve got politics. It’s all mixed in. Christ has called us to do something in this country. We as the church need to stay strong. Some of us need to get strong in the first place.”

Open Doors USA is asking you to pray for Malaysia Muslim-background believers who are underground. They face incredible oppression. Pray that God will give them wisdom as they grow in their faith and that they would have an impact on family and friends as they begin to see a change in their lives.