September 14 | Malaysia – Please pray for the Christian workers in Malaysia who have dedicated themselves to nurturing Muslim-background believers. They are isolated from one another and seldom receive encouragement. Pray that their strength and passion for the ministry will be renewed.
Malaysia (Wikipedia) is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi) separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. In 2010 the population exceeded 27.5 million, with over 20 million living on the Peninsula… of which approximately 2.6 million are Christians.
Christianity has established itself in some communities, especially in ”East Malaysia”. It is not tied to any specific ethnic group.
Religion in Malaysia (Wikipedia) - Religion often follows ethnic lines, with most Muslims being Malays. The code of Islam enforced is ”Sunni”. Islam was introduced by traders, becoming firmly established in the 15th century. The government promotes a moderate form of Islam known as Islam Hadhari. Any teaching which deviates from the official Sunni code is illegal, and no other forms of Islam are allowed. The country has both civil and Sharia courts, with all Muslims having to follow Shariah laws. These are enforced by the government and police forces.
Relations between different religious groups are generally quite tolerant. Christmas, Chinese New Year, and Deepavali have been declared national holidays alongside Islamic holidays. Various groups have been set up to try to promote religious understanding among the different groups, with religious harmony seen as a priority by Malaysian politicians. However, it is illegal to convert Muslims to other religions, and disputes have arisen over the use of the word “Allah” for God in religions other than Islam. Restrictions on religious freedom exist, especially for Muslims, who are often not allowed to legally convert to other religions, and are forced into rehabilitation camps if they attempt to.
Open Doors describes the difficulty facing believers -
The government has banned the use of the Malay language Bible and other Christian books because it deems their contents to be detrimental to public peace. There are a few Christian workers in Malaysia dedicated in reaching out to local believers. Expatriate Christian workers have declined in numbers due to visa restrictions.
Please pray that they will learn to cast their cares on Jesus and enter His rest every day.
But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed. (2 Tim. 4:17)