The apostolic administrator of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, has urged the nation’s Catholics to be courageous in the face of increasing opposition.
Malaysian police have recommended that the editor of the nation’s
Catholic newspaper be charged with sedition. Selangor, one of the
nation’s 13 states, is governed by a sultan who has decreed that
non-Muslims may not use the term “Allah” to address God.
Malaysia have been using the term since the seventeenth century, and
Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor, said that Catholic parishes in
Selangor would continue to use the term.
“I am deeply saddened and aggrieved by recent events involving the use
of offensive words and the burning of an effigy of Father Lawrence
Andrew, which is tantamount to an attack against the Christian
community,” said Archbishop Murphy Pakiam in a January 18 pastoral
“It is deplorable that certain groups also wish to organize mega
demonstrations and road shows,” he continued. “These insensible actions
by groups of persons have caused a great deal of unease, anxiety and
even anger among Malaysian citizens. Furthermore, the endorsement of
such actions by certain political leaders and the unexplained silence of
others only add fuel to a fire that seems to be spreading
“I call upon the Catholic faithful to be strong through these
adversities and continue to profess our faith with courage and
determination,” he added.
The Southeast Asian nation of 29.6 million is 60% Muslim, 19% Buddhist,
6% Hindu, 6% Protestant, and 3% Catholic. Islam is Malaysia’s official