Church fire-bombed ahead of protests
A church has been fire-bombed in an attack that gutted its ground floor, church officials said, escalating a dispute over the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.
Al least four other churches are also believed to have been attacked in the last 12 hours in the Klang Valley, including the Assumption Church in Petaling Jaya.
A fire department official said all stations were on alert for more blazes at religious buildings, ahead of planned nationwide protests today by Muslim groups angry over the use of the word as a translation for ‘God’ by Christians.
The three-storey Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur, part of the Assemblies of God movement, was set ablaze in the attack which took place around midnight, said church leader Peter Yeow, 62.
“Witnesses saw four people smash the glass and throw incendiaries into the church building. They came on two motorcycles,” he told AFP at the scene as fire department forensic officers picked through the wreckage.
There were no casualties in the attack on the church, which occupies the corner lot of a row of shop houses and which Yeow said draws some 1,500 people weekly.
“The fire destroyed the administrative part of the church. We do not know if the prayer hall on the third floor suffered any damage,” he said, warning all other churches to “double their guard” against any attacks.
Anuar Harun, who headed the fire department operation, said that forensic experts were working with the police and a canine unit to probe the blaze.
“We are investigating the cause of fire. We cannot provide any more details. It is a sensitive issue,” he said when asked if it was a case of arson.
“We have asked all our fire stations to be on alert for such fires on religious premises,” he told AFP.
Meanwhile Kuala Lumpur police chief Sabtu Othman said the police found one spanner and a kerosene container at the scene, along with two scorched helmets.
He said that the police were investigating the matter under Section 436 of the Penal Code which can punish an offender to 20 years’ jail and a fine.
Meanwhile the Assumption church, which is located next to the Assunta Hospital, is believed to have come under attack at about 4am today.
Church officials said that homemade firebombs were thrown into the Catholic church but fortunately they did not explode.
Building erupted into flames
The High Court last week ruled in favour of the Catholic weekly, The Herald newspaper, which has used ‘Allah’ as a translation for “God” in its Malay-language section. The government has said the word should be used only by Muslims.
The ruling was suspended on Wednesday pending an appeal, after the government argued the decision could cause racial conflict in multicultural Malaysia, where Muslim Malays make up 60 percent of the population.
(this is part of the latest news on Malaysiakini)
As a Catholic, a darn gutsy person with a citizen journalist role, I can do many things. But I shall rely on Jesus our Lord. I will let Him ministers to me what shall be the next thing I must do. I had interviewed a few people earlier (before the court stay order) about the matter. But I didn’t want to publish it anymore.
I should be asking my church elder if I can help to calm things by hearing what he has to say to us. But I am not doing to do it.
It is very sad that we have come to this stage. But it has to come. And we shall persevere. Things like these had happened in Jesus’s time too. What does Jesus did then? He reminded us. Blessed are the peacemaker, Blessed are you who are persecuted…Blessed are the meek…
Few days ago, I told CM, “You don’t say anything ha? Cos anything from you, can be twisted and I may get killed simply because I am a Catholic. Imagine I go to a protest and they know who I am…”
It was told in a joking way, with all my animated gestures. Not many people have this privilege of talking to a leader like that. But what I wanted to say was, Please keep politics out of the issue. And he quoted to me, Blessed are the meek…
Well, those people, who did all these nonsense. If they had done it because of the Divine’s interest, God bless them for their courage. But if they had done it out of hate, well..it is not for me to say. However, as a Christian, I shall look at this with calmness. And aren’t they glad they are picking on Christians who are often seen as ‘turn the right cheek’ people?
22 thoughts on “We have persevered, and we will persevere”
We shall perservere, but that doesn’t mean we must back down from any confrontation.
Lord Jesus never back down from confronting the evil. He could have chosen the easy path of kow towing to the enemies but he bravely face death, knowing that truth will win at the end.
What happens here is the same.
They bomb our churches, we perservere, but we do not bomb them.
But that doesn’t mean we have to hide ourselves in fear.
There is nothing to fear.
The night before Jesus was caught, He too was filled with grieves, but Jesus chose the route to Mount Calvary, with full knowledge that suffering and death awaiting.
If we are to follow Jesus in living, we ought to follow Jesus in death.
Well written. This is my first time coming here. I came to know your web while i was surfing the net to find out what happened to my church, Assumption Church PJ. At the same time, I wanted to post on my facebook to show my anger and hatred towards the muslims. After reading your post, i guess i will leave it up to God, like what you said. That’s our way, God’s way. Really, well written.
I was surprised and so sad, and frankly I never thought it would go this far.
Tiu!!! The PM said its ok to protest mah. They just read the headlines then they do lor!! 1Malaysia!!!! Ptui!!!
i’m feeling sad but i do believe in what you said. There are no point for us to retaliate. All we could do is pray n let God show us the way and the path that we should take.
I pray that everything will be ok in the future and can only hope for the best.
I’m a malaysian, I’m not a christian, but I’m so angry
Lillian, they want Jihad, see for yourself:
The day they attack your church, what will you do?
Still believe in your “persevere” speech by that time?
IRON – Don’t be a pain in my arse. I am busy up to my neck. Between the hour I posted this until now, I have been to a masjid, a church, talked to my Bishop on how I should approach the subject and talked to the CM as well. What you have done? Other than trying to incite anger? Fuck off. Yes, I use F word. Go foam in your mouth now.
And one more thing, IRON, your first comment? You are nothing but a fanatic trying to be Christian. Go vent your anger elsewhere. I have better way to deal with things, not like you, sitting behind a pseudonym and keeping an eye on my response.
Islam promotes violence or, more accurately, many who hold to the philosophy called “Islam” behave violently.
1Malaysia is an excuse to bully, intimidate and even murder those with whom they disagree.Most Muslims may be peaceful. But they have not demanded peace and tolerance from their leaders.
The day they attack our Church, will be the day we stand upfront to protect it. Those who attacked the churches was narrow-minded and unethical. Based on your second comment, i believe that a religion should be spreading love, peace harmony. And again based on your picture, if they believe that through JIHAD they can gain all these, then they are totally spreading the opposite: Hatred, Anger, and Sadness.
We Catholics has never tried to find fault with any other religion before. Around the world, you shall see Catholics living in harmony with other religion. So, for this incident of the usage of “Allah”, Catholics must have a good, valid and arguable point of choosing to go after the word “ALLAH” and i am 101% behind them as a Catholic myself.
Im not a christian, but I really feel sad & angry at the same time .. But Lilian is right.. Lets do things with a cool head.. dont be like them.. I know there’s religious saying “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
Nicholas B, reference to your comment on having a good valid etc reason to go after the word Allah…..and what is the reason, may I know? I’m not Catholic so I’m wondering what is the reason that it was so important to ruffle their feathers and kacau their Allah word? I mean, is it worth provoking people like that? It’s not like Jesus is going to say on judgement day “Well done my faithful servant. You won the Allah word for me in court”.
What exactly is the root of all this on wanting the Allah word so much? Is it a fight for justice for the Catholics right to use the word? (that’s called pride , btw) Or an assurance of a place in heaven? Certainly not, I’m pretty sure.
Just sad n curious why it was so important…..
linda – Lemme explain that. The word Allah was already in the Malay Bible dated back to the 17th century. Long time ago, when the missionary came, they brought French/whatever languages Bible here. Yes, they came to spread the religion. So, they got it translated into High Malay Bible. I read that Munshi Abdullah is one of them who did the translation. So, the word was already in the Bible. Then, in hymns and in praise and worship, when it is done in Bahasa Melayu but locals here or East Malaysians, the word does come up. But these are all done within the confine of the church building.
The Herald was already in publication for 12 yrs and all the while, when they refer to the Bible, where the word Allah is used, it is printed as Allah. However, since I have a copy of the Al-Kitab, I can say for sure that Allah is not simply used. It is not used to refer to the general god, not to Jesus but only to the Almighty.
However, during the run up to the 12th general election, we as Catholics are rather involved in our choice of leaders. And yes, The Herald was warned to stick to religion. They DO stick to religion but there was this mammoth ceramah photo. So, our Home Minister, Hamid Syed Albar felt that we are being errm…whatever lah. So, that’s when the Herald printing licence was tarik balik then, given back with conditions.
So, it is NOT a new thing. It is not about The Herald. It is how much are they taking away from us? Now, we cannot print Bible here, we cannot import Indonesian language Bible…..Who knows, soon it is a crime to own a BM Al-Kitab.
Ooh , thanks for the explanation…I didn’t know they weren’t allowing the Indonesian version bible in malaysia If that’s the case, of course it’s a good reason!! Haha, you seem to be the only Catholic who knows the reason because when we ask them , they’d be like “we just follow the Pope (er, Pope is not God) or the church says so.
Well, in our circle, we always say, change the Govt and the chains on Christianity in Malaysia will be broken.
Hopefully everyone knows what to do in next election.
(hey, if this statement is going to get me in trouble, don’t publish hah. 🙂
Like what Lillian said.
Good reason is that the word Allah is used in other countries, so why not in Malaysia. By the way,Allah is not a “god” in Islam. In is like what Lillian said, it is a general term. In translation, Allah = God(General). Well, you may wonder why don’t the Catholics just use Tuhan instead but Tuhan is used for specified gods like Tuhan Yesus. We Cathoilcs don’t fight for pride but instead for FAIRNESS(Keadilan). By the way, the act of attacking churches is totally condemned. Why don’t you ask “the people” who attacked the churches, “why that attack?” Is it for pride???
Anyway, we always forgive and forget. Humans aren’t perfect, we do mistakes. We also RESPECTS other’s religion. “Do unto others what you what others to do upon you”
Nicholas.B – I totally agree with what the Catholic church has done based on Lilian’s explanation on not being able to bring in Bibles b’cos of the word Allah. However, I cannot agree if your explanaion is FAIRNESS. Why bother if it is only for the sake of fairness? Assuming bibles can be brought in and you want to fight for fairness knowing fairly well the reaction one would be getting from the Muslims, then it is truly about pride, if you ask me.
Well, I don’t think you can really ask “the people” why they attack because if you are at all a Christian who has the HolySpirit in you, surely you have some discerment to know a different spirit lives in all who do not have the Holy Spirit in them. Suffice to say there are only 3 types of spirits – your own, the Father, and Mr SA Tan. Don’t worry if you don’t get my drift – 95% Catholic don’t 🙂 Of course, added to that is their (false) pride in the flesh about their religion being above all. Sigh
You call it pride to stand up for what is right(the usage of the word “Allah” in Herald since the 17th century). I believe that certain facts put up by you is incorrect. Mr SA TAN doesn’t dwell in us humans but influences us to choose the wrong choice. By the way, may I know your stand in this issue? You are not a catholic? Then are you a Christian?
My stand? You mean the Allah issue? Based ONLY on Lilian’s explanation, yes, I agree we should seek justice for the right to use the word Allah because we cannot have the Indonesian bibles confiscated because of the word Allah. So I am now very agreeable. Smile
Reference your first sentence. in this case based on Lilian’s explanation, I do not call it pride. I did earlier because every Catholic that I asked why the importance, could only say “Don’t know, as long we obey Pope ” ” because the church say do, we must follow” ……
The above answers are very similar to the kind of answers you get when people ask why the Catholics need to have meetings on what colors to use,how many lines in a row, what flowers cannot be bought for Sunday mass, what hymms MUST be on sunday etc etc. Note your January 8th comment :-
“Catholics must have a good, valid and arguable point of choosing to go after the word “ALLAH” and i am 101% behind them as a Catholic myself” .
BUT YOU DID NOT GIVE A VALID REASON . Like all Catholics, you just presume whatever the church does , it has a good reason but like all Catholics again, majority don’t know why. It’s just good cos church says so. Hey Nicholas, was just trying to give an explanation, NOT hitting out at your church. Forgive me if it sounds like that. Peace
Ref your 1st sentence again….Justice without pride is when we fight for the widowed, orphans, poor, ill-treated, mistreated, etc etc even when we know it can cause unrest, church burning, havoc etc BUT if one fights for the word Allah for the sake of justice alone, yes, I call it pride. It’s my personal opinion Nicholas, you have yours too, so no sweat 🙂 Cheers. Have a blessed week
🙂 Sorry, when I said Mr S A Tan, I meant demons (Hmm, I really don’t want to put this word here. hey Lilian, am I going to get into trouble with u know who). I just presumed Christians/Catholics know what I’m talking about. So you are right. I prefer not to touch this here in the open.
Yes, I am a Christian
Linda, well if someone asks me why catholics go after the word Allah, then i will answer them:
I will say that Allah is not only for Muslims and it is the right for the Catholics or any other Christian denominations to use. (I believe i said it before in my previous comments- forgive me if i didn’t)
“Numerous religious scholars have pointed out that since Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same god, calling the deity “God” in English means exactly the same thing as calling him “Allah” or “Yahweh” in other languages.”
Well, what do you think of the entire issue not basing on Lilian’s explanation. Do you think the Catholic is fighting a useless(redundant) war???
Well, if it weren’t based on Lilian’s explanation, I believe I speak for most Christians (not Catholics) when I say it’s a waste of precious time and energy because our core value is a “relationship with Christ”, so we have other matters that take priority.
The leaderships of Catholics today still have roots of rituals, rules, legalism, codes etc that originated from Constantin(e)’s romanised catholic church so naturally the issues of rights and justice are very real and of upmost importance. So I should not comment if the Catholics are fighting a useless war. While I do not agree (if not basing on Lilian’s explanation), I do not belittle what you are standing for. Suffice to say, our priorities differ and if I tried to answer your last question, this could go on forever. Gentle smile.
Ref. your 2nd last paragraph – we also differ on this. We believe only Catholics and re-born Christians worship the same God. (Religious scholars are filled with head knowledge, I’d rather hear the words of a layman who walks daily with the H.Spirit in him anytime! anyday!
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