Selasa, 29 Mac 2011

BM bibles: Christian group demands apology

The warning to the government is clear: If our demands are ignored, it could have serious repercussion in the next general election.
The Coalition of Malaysian Christians (COMC) today urged the government to apologise to the Christians in the country over the recent episode of impounding and stamping of 35,100 Bahasa Malaysia bibles.
The coalition said the government’s action was a gross travesty of religious freedom as enshrined in the federal constitution.
Apart from the apology, COMC urged the government to return the Malays bibles known as Alkitab to the publisher and replace them with new Alkitab.
The coalition also wanted assurances that:
  • no Malay bibles are destroyed or further defaced;
  • the government bears all costs and gives written assurance that such desecration will never happen again;
  • the home ministry will not act on its own without due consultation with the relevant Christian representative organizations;
  • due respect is given to the Alkitab by consulting the relevant Christian representative organizations before any external text is inserted in the bible; and
  • 30,000 Malay bibles worth RM78,000 imported by the Sarawak branch of global Christian group, The Gideons, be unconditionally released from Kuching port.
COMC spokesman Ronnie Klassen outlined these demands after lodging a police report against the government at the Petaling Jaya Section 8 police station today.

Serious repercussion warned

Klassen, a former PKR man, explained that the police report was lodged to demand for a thorough investigation into the said episode.
“We do not accept conditions that belittle the Christian faith and religion. We will not accept Muslim views on Christianity and its practice and matters of faith as normative, or link the Alkitab row to the Catholic Church’s court case on the right to use ‘Allah’,” he said.
“The Alkitab and the Allah court case are separate issues; and the federal government has no right to ban the Alkitab under the law. Such developments as Christianity being singled out as a threat is unacceptable, as there are no such conditions imposed on the holy books of other religions,” he added.
Klassen said that it was important for the government to pay attention to the voices coming from the Christian community.
“If the government continues to ignore our demands, it would then not just reflect badly on the government, but also could have serious repercussion in the next general election,” he warned.
He was accompanied by some 70 Christians, including some senior priests and pastors from churches of various Christian denominations, including Father Simon Lebrooy of the St Francis Xavier Church and Father Philip Muthu of the Assumption Church Parish, Petaling Jaya.

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