31

Malaysia

RegionAsia
Sources of PersecutionIslamic Oppression
Population31,164,000
Christian Population2,865,000
ReligionsIslam
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
LeaderPrime Minister Najib Razak
Score60/100

Malaysia

Malaysia: Growing Islamic Influence. 
Malaysia’s government is increasingly relying on Islamic conservatism to stay in power. The divide in society is growing. Half the population is ethnically Malay and considered Muslim. The other half is Chinese, indigenous or Indian. Most Christians belong to one of these three minorities. The Malay majority is clearly favoured by the government and the minorities are discriminated against. Christian converts from a Muslim background (MBBs) suffer the most persecution. Converts may be abducted without trace and can be put under house arrest. They must gather secretly in homes.

Islamic Purification. 
Malaysia’s government sponsors Muslim missions. Christian evangelism is prohibited. Islamic State continues to make inroads into Malaysia and its first attack in June 2016 shocked the country. The effort to introduce Sharia penal law in the federal state shows a growing conservatism. Muslim converts to Christianity are considered apostate. If discovered, they may be sent to an Islamic purification centre. Extreme pressure, including mental and physical abuse may be used to force them to return to Islam.

A Monitored Minority. 
Christians are monitored by state authorities, local Muslim communities and Islamic rights groups. Most evangelical communities are not registered as churches. They operate as community centres or out of factory or business premises. Openly bringing Malay converts to church is impossible. All printing of Christian materials requires permission from the government. Importing the Bible and Christian books is banned. 

Pray for Malaysia

For the Christians belonging to ethnic minorities who are suffering discrimination.

For the MBBs who are being punished, abducted or forced underground for their faith.

That the government may relax its growing conservatism and give Christians more rights.