Hornbill Unleashed

June 17, 2017

Church group urges govt to act against writer, Utusan mooting ‘anti-evangelicalism laws’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Eu urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other government leaders to speak up and uphold the constitutional guarantees for the minority Christian community. — Reuters pic Calling it an “attack” on Christians, the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) wants the police to mount a sedition investigation on an NGO leader and Utusan Malaysia over an article to outlaw “evangelicalism” in Malaysia.

NECF chairman Rev Eu Hong Seng accused the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) chief executive Azril Mohd Amin of promoting interreligious ill-will with his proposal for “anti-evangelicalism laws” as published in the Malay broadsheet yesterday.

“The call on the government to set up ‘anti evangelicalism laws’ like that of Yarovaya Act by Russia against evangelicalism to curb religious extremism and terrorism is uncalled for and extremely provocative.

“The reports of both local and international media on extremism and terrorism do not name the involvement of Malaysian evangelical Christians in such activities,” Eu said in a statement today.

He asserted that such views were “radical and extreme”, and all the more disturbing when they were published in a national newspaper.

“To attack Christians in this manner violates basic human rights and the protections guaranteed under our Federal Constitution,” he added.

In a reminder, he pointed to Article 11(1) of the Constitution that guaranteed each Malaysian the right and freedom to profess, practise and propagate his religion of choice that was subject only to Article 11(4), which allows for restrictions against propagating any other religion or doctrine than Islam to Muslims.

Eu urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other government leaders to speak up and uphold the constitutional guarantees for the minority Christian community, which he accused Azril of violating with his proposal.

In his opinion piece yesterday, the chief of Centhra had claimed “evangelicalism” to be a dangerous movement that could threaten racial harmony in the country.

“The government needs to consider introducing anti-evangelicalism laws to ensure that the attempts by evangelicals to dominate the Christian narrative do not occur,” Azril wrote.

He argued that banning evangelical churches was in line with Article 11 of the Federal Constitution to preserve peace among religions.

He also called upon the government to set up “anti-evangelicalism laws” similar to Russia’s Yaroyaya Act which was enacted in July last year.

The new Russian laws which aimed to combat terrorism contain provisions that allow its government to crack down on minority denomination churches other than the main Russian Orthodox Church from evangelising Christianity to its citizens.

Malaysia’s Christian community is just under 10 per cent of the country’s 30 million population, of which over 60 per cent is Muslim followed by 20 per cent Buddhist, 6 per cent Hindu and the remainder a mix of other beliefs.

Source : The Malay Mail Online


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