Churches firebombed in Malaysia

Two more churches attacked amid row over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims.

    Malaysian Christians have used the word Allah for centuries and a court recently approved the use [AFP]

    He said a broken bottle filled with the inflammable liquid paraffin was found inside the compound of St Louis Catholic Church.

    Muslims protesting

    Muslim groups have staged protests in response to a court ruling last week that gave a Catholic newspaper the Herald the right to print the Arabic word for God, Allah, following a long-running dispute with the government over the issue.

    Thousands of Malaysian Christians turned up to Sunday services, despite the recent tensions.

    Four churches in the Kuala Lumpur area have been hit by firebombs since Friday, leaving one badly damaged with its ground floor gutted, and prompting Najib Razak, the prime minister, to promise to crack down on race crime.

    Hermen Shastri, secretary-general of the Council of Churches, said officials had stepped up security in the wake of the attacks.

    "The attacks show they are more just a prank as it does not appear to be a major [attack], someone is trying to send a signal that they are unhappy," he said.

    The word Allah has been used by Malay-speaking Christians for centuries, as well as by Christians in Arabic-speaking countries and in Indonesia.

    Rev Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Herald, has said there is no other appropriate term for God in Malay.

    About 10 per cent of Malaysians are Christians, including about 850,000 Catholics. Around 60 per cent of the population are Muslims.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.