Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/25/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Malaysian Catholics have long used 'Allah' to refer to the Christian god

Catholics in Malaysia are forbidden to say the word "Allah," which is the Arabic name for God, in Malaysia. Malaysia's highest court has upheld the ban, ending a years-long legal battle. Observers see the verdict as a test case for the country's wider Christian congregation. In the meantime, officials insist the verdict is confined to one Catholic newspaper. Worshipers can still use "Allah" to refer to God in church, the Malaysian government says.

Authorities maintain that using 'Allah' in non-Muslim literature could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert, which is a crime in Malaysia.

Authorities maintain that using "Allah" in non-Muslim literature could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert, which is a crime in Malaysia.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/25/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Malaysia, Allah, Catholics, forbidden, court case


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a highly divisive case, the Catholic Church here challenged a ban on its appropriation of the Arabic word. Overall, minorities claim their rights are under threat from the creeping "Islam-ization" they say is sweeping Malaysia.

The Malay government had previously banned the use of "Allah" in the local Malay-language edition of the Church's Herald newspaper. The use of the word had angered Muslims, who claim Christians are overstepping religious boundaries.

Learn how to make your prayers even more effective -- by going here --

A seven-judge panel in Malaysia's administrative capital Putrajaya upheld a lower court decision which sided with the government's ban.

"The ruling only applies to the Herald newspaper's use of the word 'Allah.' Malaysian Christians can still use the word 'Allah' in church," a government spokesman reiterated.

Christians say they had used the Arabic word to refer to God in Malay for centuries.

"The Christian community continues to have the right to use the word 'Allah' in our Bibles, church services and Christian gatherings," Eu Hong Seng, chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, said.

Lawyers for the Catholic Church said they would explore new ways to challenge the ban, which fear the ruling could be used as a precedent to curtail religious freedom in other cases.

A hundred Muslim activists outside the courtroom cheered the news of the verdict. They had earlier shouted "Allahu Akbar," or God is great and waved banners that read "Uniting to defend the name of Allah."

"We must defend Allah because this is our religious obligation. I hope other communities, including Christians, understand this," Ibrahim Ali, head of Muslim rights group Perkasa, said.

The issue first began when Malaysia's home ministry in 2007 threatened to revoke the Herald's publishing permit for using the Arabic word in its Malay-language edition.

The Church argued that "Allah" had been used for centuries in Malay-language Bibles and other literature to refer to "God" outside of Islam.

Authorities maintain that using "Allah" in non-Muslim literature could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert, which is a crime in Malaysia.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Asia Pacific

New labor law drastically sets backs children's rights in India Watch

Image of Poverty, analysts say, does not cause child labor -- it is the other way round. Child labor perpetuates poverty. When children work, they are actually doing what able-bodied adults should be doing.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Every country in the world has made strides in child labor - with the notable exception of India. Even latecomers who have made strides in sending adults to work, and children to school, such as Malaysia, have seen improvement. The current Indian government led ... continue reading


Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Tagle becomes first Asian Caritas Internationalis president Watch

Image of Congratulations, Cardinal Tagle.

By Andrea Gagliarducci, CNA/EWTN News

Cardinal Luis Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, is the new president of Caritas Internationalis. The general assembly of the umbrella organization of Catholic charities elected the Filipino cardinal with 91 votes out of 133. Vatican City, May 14, 2015 / 01:46 pm (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Nepal hit with SECOND large earthquake - panic spreads rapidly Watch

Image of Many people were still trying to recover from the 7.8-magnitude April 25 quake.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nepal was hit with a second powerful earthquake, less than three weeks after the massive one that devastated many and left more than 8,000 people dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nepal's second earthquake is assigned with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, with ... continue reading


Chinese province orders crosses to be removed from outside churches Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Chinese law, giving authorities of the eastern province of Zhenjiang the ability to legally prohibit churches from mounting crosses on their rooftops, has been set up for approval. According to Yahoo News, authorities have already forced removals of crosses atop ... continue reading


American Nepal earthquake survivors denied rescue by five helicopters Watch

Image of An avalanche of boulders destroyed the remote village the American couple was visiting.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American Nepal earthquake survivors, stranded in a remote village, were denied rescuing from a total of five helicopters, because they didn't have travel insurance. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Della Hoffman and her boyfriend Eric Jean, an American couple from ... continue reading


China brutally kills millions of babies with forced abortions Watch

Image of Many Chinese women are forced to have abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In China, 360 to 400 million babies have been aborted over the past 35 years. Due to the country's intense and strict birth control laws, such as the one-child policy, many young lives have been taken. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Chen Guangcheng, a ... continue reading


Sex traffickers pose as social workers in Nepal, luring desperate female survivors to prostitution Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the massive earthquake that struck Nepal, many areas and people were left in the country devastated. Sex and human traffickers are reported as luring or kidnapping displaced women. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to aid organizations, ... continue reading


Nepal earthquake stirring religious hatred: 'Christian vultures' said to be spearheading relief efforts Watch

Image of RSS members have been warning that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As a devastating earthquake has shaken the Asian nation of Nepal to its very core, so have old religious and social resentments bubbled up to the service. Long seen by many as the world's purely Hindu nation, relief from the West has been seen by some as ... continue reading


Banished Filipino refugees remarkably live and work on the ocean Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Filipino refugees have chosen to establish a community on stilts over the ocean, off the coast of Malaysia, after their country banished them for their stateless status. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The Bajau, living most of their lives prohibited from ... continue reading


30 dead migrants dug up inside Southern Thailand human-trafficking camp Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A gruesome scenario was discovered by authorities after reaching remote woodland that served as a camp for human traffickers. About 30 bodies of migrants, speculated from Bangladesh and Myanmar, were unearthed from the camp turned mass grave site in Songkhla, near the ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
16 On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 11:4, 5, 7
4 Yahweh in his holy temple! Yahweh, his throne is in ... Read More

Gospel, John 21:20-25
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 23rd, 2015 Image

St. John Baptist Rossi
May 23: This holy priest was born in 1698 at the village of Voltaggio in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter