Friday, October 30, 2009

15,000 Bibles Seized

This article really says a lot about the state of religious freedom in our country, especially on those "managing" religious freedom at the Ministry of Home Affairs headed by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today, and Datuk Syed Hamid Albar before that. Read also a similar story reported by Associated Press.

More than 15,000 Bibles in Bahasa Indonesia have been detained by the government this past year.

On Sept 11, Gideons International consignment of 5,000 Indonesia Testaments (Vest) and 5,000 Indonesia/English Bilingual Testaments that Alpha Publisher sent from Jakarta to Kuching were detained by the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry (Publication).

While in March this year, 5,100 Bibles in Bahasa Indonesia ordered by the Bible Society of Malaysia were also detained by the same ministry.

The reason given for the detention of the Scriptures was because they contain the banned words of Allah, Kaabah, Baitumal and Solat.

“The Borneo Evangelical Church (S.I.B) had written an appeal letter dated Sept 17 to the Home Affairs Ministry in Putrajaya for the release of this consignment. We are now waiting for the answer of the appeal,” said Low Boon Leong, National Field Officer of The Gideons International.

“Even now as the books are detained, we have to pay for the warehouse charges which cost a fair sum of money,” he added. “In the event that we are unsuccessful in this appeal, we will have to send this consignment back to Alpha Publisher in Jakarta,” Low explained.

Rev Wong from the Bible Society of Malaysia said that besides asking the people to pray, the society has written an appeal letter which will be hand delivered to the Prime Minister by representatives of the Christian Council of Malaysia (CCM) and the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM).

He added that there was a high demand for Bibles in Bahasa Indonesia and appealed to the ministry to release the Bibles as soon as possible.

The Christian Council of Malaysia is following up on their appeal to the Malaysian Government to release these Scriptures.
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