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Faith under Attack

The rising tension between Christians and Muslims in Malaysia is a cause for concern. We know for sure that the faith never professes war against other religions or believers but rather the human misinterpretation of the holy texts.

While Muslims continue to express concern (and to some extent, disgust) on the alleged proselytization of Muslims, Christians have been less vocal as details are still hazy. Would you call that wisdom or tolerance? Or have the churches relegated the responsibility to speak on behalf of the Christian community to politicians?

Unfortunately, the silence of churches and Christian community leaders has given room for political voices to speak on their behalf. This does not mean that individuals like MP Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua is not qualified to express his opinion but the situation have somewhat grown into a political debate among political parties. Isn’t religion supposed to be above politics? Should it be discussed on an apolitical platform or debated over mass media based on political affiliation.

Noticed even PAS is unable to take a stand on the proselytizsation issue, even after the meeting with a church committee? Didn’t anyone realized the hero of Christianity in Malaysia MP Teresa Kok has been conspicuously silent and muted since the JAIS raid on Damansara Uptown Methodist Church (DUMC) on 3 August? PAS could not issue an official stand on this and some of their members are also in the same group calling for strong government action against the alleged perpetrators who are converting Muslims to Christianity.

For all they stand for, DAP is unable to unite for Christians and all MCA ever said was JAIS was wrong. Neither one is better than the other.

So what are we dealing with here?

1.     Muslims in this country cannot accept proselytization. Before we jump to conclusion that they are dreaming up the issue, let’s ask ourselves and our friends, is there truth in the alleged cases? Do we really know if certain evangelical church has not done so? Isolated cases could still blow the situation out of proportion.

2.     When church leaders speak with other religious leaders, we see peace process. When politicians debate with politicians (and getting the press involved – TV1, Utusan, Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider), then religion becomes the battleground for votes!

3.     We hate government controlled media for playing up the apostasy issue, but we must also check if Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider are overdoing their effort to carry DAP’s Tony Pua’s view on this.

4.     Issues relating to religion in a multiracial country need to be resolved through consultation, discussion and mutual understanding among religious leaders. Politicians from both sides should be facilitators and bipartisan - NOT fueling arguments.

5.     The Christian community is very upset and angry silently, but allows politicians like Tony Pua to fuel the anger of Muslims further while churches keep quiet.

Is our faith under attack? Are we allowing it or are we just not bothered to protect our faith ourselves? Let’s not let our emotions have the best of us. At the end of the day, we are answerable to only our maker and we don’t really have to win in this debate. Neither do the other side. It’s just a matter of perception.

Politicians, please step aside. It’s time to resolve the problem, not kill religion for the sake of winning public relations brownie points!
Get the points by walking the talk and serve the community that elected you!

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