‘Allah’ ruling tantamount to persecuting Christians: Archbishop Pakiam

He called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take steps to “stop the indoctrination of unwitting Malays by individuals and organisations from swinging towards a divisive radicalism”.

Malaysia
Oct 23 2013, 2:00 PM
‘Allah’ ruling tantamount to persecuting Christians: Archbishop Pakiam
Archbishop Murphy Pakiam

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur said on Monday that the three judges were grossly misinformed in arriving at the decision to ban non-Muslims from using the word Allah.

The archbishop issued a statement in his capacity as the president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Malaysia. It said, “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 said, 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.

Half of the churches and chapels in Peninsular Malaysia currently conduct at least one worship service or catechism lesson in Bahasa Malaysia every week.

“As committed religious leaders, we have to ensure that we respectfully minister to them in the national language. For this reason, we do not accept the statement of these judges and stand in solidarity with other church leaders who have also voiced their objection.”

"We are heartened that other religious leaders and organisations have echoed similar statements."

He called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take steps to “stop the indoctrination of unwitting Malays by individuals and organisations from swinging towards a divisive radicalism”.

Pakiam also urged all Malaysians to invoke the good sense of their Malay brothers and sisters, many of whom have greatly benefitted from the education offered in mission schools, and who were familiar with Christians’ belief in God.

A three-man Court of Appeal bench had ruled a week ago that the word Allah was not essential to or an integral part of Christianity. The church will file an appeal to the Federal Court.

Source: Herald Malaysia

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