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Bibles seized in raid

10 January 2014

by a staff reporter


Source of tension: a Malay-language Bible

Source of tension: a Malay-language Bible

A RAID on the offices of the Bible Society in Malaysia - apparently by the government authorities - resulted in the seizure of more than 300 Bibles.

United Bible Societies - comprising 146 Bible societies - confirmed that the raid had taken place last week. In a statement, it said: "Staff at Bible Society of Malaysia were surprised by a raid on their offices on 2 January. Fifteen members of JAIS [the Islamic authority for the state in which the Bible Society is located] entered the Bible Society and seized 320 copies of the Bahasa Malaysia Bible, and ten copies of the Bup Kudus, the lban Bible.

"They also arrested Bible Society of Malaysia President Mr Lee Min Choon, and the offfice manager Mr Sinclair Wong. Mr Lee and Mr Wong were released on bail after two hours."

The Bible Society of Malaysia has appealed for Christians to remain calm.

Christians are a religious minority in Malaysia, and represent approximately nine per cent of the population of 2.6 million. In recent years, tensions have grown be-tween Christian and Muslim communities, leading the Malaysian government to introduce the "10-Point Solution" in 2011. The Solution was intended to foster peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians.

The Council of Churches of Malaysia called on the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, to act to stop any further raids.

The recently formed National Unity Consultative Council - set up to promote harmony and integration between cultures - said that the raid showed a "blatant disregard" for the agreed solution to the distribution of Christian publications, and that it was "regrettable".

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