Ban on 'Allah' word amounts to persecution, says Church head
Malaysian archbishop claims court judges were misinformed
Picture: Wikimedia Commons
- Herald Malaysia reporter
- October 22, 2013
The head of the Malaysian Catholic Church today said that the decision of the Court of Appeal on the Allah issue was tantamount to persecuting Christians in Malaysia.
Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam noted that the three judges were grossly misinformed in arriving at the decision to ban Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah.
He said Christians in Malaysia have been using the word peacefully for centuries and "we do not accept the statement of these judges".
"As president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, I want to say that the three judges were grossly misinformed in their finding that the word Allah is not essential or an integral part of Christianity," said the archbishop in a statement today.
He added that the first article of faith in the creed for all Christians is "I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
"As such, any Christian who denies or modifies this statement of faith, incurs excommunication and would be considered a heretic," he stressed, adding that Allah was the Bahasa Malaysia translation and the Arabic equivalent of "One God."
He also pointed out that to conclude that the word was not essential to the Christian faith was a grave denial of a fundamental right of the Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christian community, who use Allah in their worship, prayer books, the Alkitab and other publications.
Pakiam said there were thousands of Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians from Sabah and Sarawak who were in universities, the armed forces, police and in the civil and private sector in Peninsular Malaysia.
Pakiam added that half of the churches and chapels in Peninsular Malaysia currently conduct at least one worship service or catechism lesson in Bahasa Malaysia every week.
Source: Herald Malaysia