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Christian groups deny treason plot

Newspaper claims meeting vowed to make Christianity official religion

Tim France

May 9, 2011

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The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur has refuted "provocative and malicious" claims that accuse Christian groups of a treasonous plot and threaten religious harmony in Malaysia. National Malay-language newspaper Utusan Malaysia, alleged on April 7 that Christian leaders gathered at a closed-door meeting in Penang where they vowed to make Christianity the official religion of Malaysia and to install a Christian prime minister. Archbishop Murphy Nicholas Xavier Pakiam said he categorically refuted allegations that such a meeting had ever taken place. The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) which organised the meeting in question has also refuted such claims, stipulating that this meeting only covered the topic of ethical leadership and had no treasonous agenda. Archbishop Pakiam slammed Utusan Malaysia for what he called “baseless and highly irresponsible” reporting which has seriously jeopardized interfaith relations in the country. He called for an official investigation. “It is clear that such reporting has the effect of creating religious disharmony, inciting hatred and heaping odium on Christians," he said. “We therefore call upon the authorities and the police to immediately make a thorough investigation of this matter to determine the source of these insidious, provocative and malicious lies and to take the necessary action against those who seek to threaten the multi-cultural and multi-religious harmonious make-up in this country.” Citing recent efforts by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) to engage the government and other parties in finding a solution to the Alkatib issue, Pakiam said; “It is clear that our position has never been treasonous. Nor have we advocated hatred, antagonism or animosity towards any religion or groups of persons. “I continue to call upon all Catholics, Christians and all Malaysians to pray, dialogue and work together to strengthen national unity and harmony.” ML14133

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