Jubilee Campaign covers a wide range of countries and human rights issues, and I’d like to inform you of a new project that we are undertaking in Malaysia. Malaysian religious minorities, including Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists have experienced increased persecution in recent years. Malaysia has been known for being a fairly moderate Muslim-majority country and one that people often point to as a model for other Muslim-dominated countries. However, developments on the ground are troubling and reveal a less than moderate environment for religious minorities.
One disturbing development is the rise in abductions of religious leaders and social activists. One of the first in a series of abductions was the kidnapping of Pastor Raymond Koh right outside of the capital, Kuala Lumpur on February 13. He was stopped on the road while driving, swarmed by a convoy of SUVs, and forcibly driven away. Mr. Koh had previously been accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, and he faced significant online criticism due to these rumors. There is suspicion that this is linked to his abduction. Often in abduction situations, the family of the abductee will be contacted soon after for ransom. However, Mr. Koh’s family has heard nothing about him since his kidnapping. Other mysterious kidnappings have also taken place since his disappearance.
In addition to abductions of religious leaders, non-Muslims have been faced with heightened efforts by Islamic groups and leaders to increase the jurisdiction of Islamic law. Already in Malaysia, many states have adopted apostasy laws that prohibit or limit people’s ability to convert away from Islam.
With intolerance and persecution rising in Malaysia, Jubilee Campaign has joined with other religious liberty organizations as well as Malaysian activists to raise these issues before the Malaysian government and the international community. We ask for your prayers as we begin this advocacy work that we may be guided by the Lord to work for His glory and the good of the Malaysian people.