Friday, 15 January 2010

Church Attacks: Voices from Malaysia

I recieved the following from Bishop Ng Moon Hing in West Malaysia

Dear Friends,

After a tense situation in Malaysia with 9 churches and a school been attacked, we have finally experienced a calm atmosphere for the time being. The lastest attack two days ago was on a Sikh Temple. The Sikhs also use the word "Allah" in their Scripture. The police is trying to do their best to maintain order. Many negotiations are underway to defuse this situation. The political parties are doing their part and the government authorities are doing theirs. Church leaders have been meeting with the authorities to find a way forward for peace and harmony.

I sincerely wish to thank all the churches for staying calm and praying. Your prayers are indeed helpful and powerful. Violence will not bring peace. Though the solution is still far away, the present dialogues and meetings have certainly brought everyone into the picture to at least try to understand each other. We hope to work towards the idea from toleration to respecting each others presence, contribution and dignity. This is the concept of 1Malaysia.

I urge all churches to be vigilant. Archdeacon Steven Abbarow said this after visiting All Saints Taiping on Sunday 10 Jan:

Yesterday, morning I visited Joshua Ong. When I arrived at All Saint's Church. Joshua told me that the MB of Perak YB Zambri and the OCPD are on their way. This was a surprise, as we were fnot given any notice of this earlier. They came with reporters, politicians, special branch and police personnel.
The MB assured us of support, police protection and felt that this the work individuals who were emotionally upset and not a coordinated affair and expressed his firm stand against such actions and told us not to react. I thanked him for the assurance of support and assistance. I also told him that we have not and will not react emotionally but will pray for the peace of the country, and that I am very concerned about the situation and hoped the authorities will catch the perpetrators. He said they will do all they can.

In the meantime, I have been informed by the Lay Reader in COR, Kuala Kangsar, that he kept vigil in the Tadika room on Sunday night and noticed a motorbike and a car and the riders, driver and people in them were watching and looking at the church. He came out of the Tadika, and they just bolted off. He called the police and they immediately sent a patrol car and stationed two officers there. The leaders took these precautions as they heard that at the Police station people overheard that they were very concerned someone may try and do something on COR. They also were informed and heard from the neighboring bus terminal and stalls and the coffee table talk, mostly non-Christians, that the church next door will be in trouble.

Rev Alakumalai of St James KL related that he saw a few young people loitering outside the church. He went to them and was told that they were sent there to 'protect the church'. Feeling uneasy over it, he reported to the police for the police station is only next door. Immediately seeing the police, the so-called 'protector' fled quickly. Two policemen were stationed overnight at the church.

I believe after the storm there will be some calm. God has a better plan for the Malaysian Church. Let us continue to discern His Will.

Those from overseas, let me assure you that we are fine and well, only a bit jerked and slightly shaken. If you are planning to visit Malaysia please do come, don't change plan. Thank you so much for your prayers and e-mails of concerns and encouragement.

May the good Lord continue to lead and watch over you!

+Moon Hing

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