Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/25/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Woman has ACID thrown on her face by husband over dowry argument Watch

Image of Officials say that the majority of acid attack victims survive their attacks - but the trauma haunts them for the rest of their lives (Zakir Hossain Chowdhury and Barcroft Media).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a horrific tragedy that points to greater national shame ... 23-year-old Jesmin Akter suffered burns to both her face and body after her husband splashed her with acid after an argument over their dowry. She is currently at a hospital recovering from the attack. ... continue reading


MAN TURNING INTO TREE! Bangladeshi man suffers from rare skin disease that turns skin into bark Watch

Image of Epidermodysplasia verruciformis or EV creates wart-like lesions on the body. Photo courtesy Zuma Wire/Shutterstock/REX.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 25-year-old Bangladeshi man, suffering from a rare and inherited skin disease has been called the "tree man." His condition leaves lesions on his hands, feet, and other extremities that resemble tree bark. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Patient Abul ... continue reading


Teenager's ISIS-inspired attack plan using explosive-stuffed Kangaroos leads to arrest Watch

Image of Nineteen-year-old Sevdet Ramadan Besim has been arrested with four other teenagers on suspicion terrorist charges. (Pixabay)

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An Australian teenager has been arrested in connection with a fantastical plot to load a kangaroo with explosives, painted with the Islamic State flag, and set it loose on police officers on Anzac Day. Nineteen-year-old Sevdet Ramadan Besim has been arrested ... continue reading


Vowing to stop ISIS, Filipino Christian militia take up arms Watch

Image of Red God's Defenders are adamant about preventing the Philippines from becoming a new breeding ground for ISIS.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Members of a Christian militia group in the Philippines have taken up arms and were photographed burning the black flag of Islamic State. The "Red God's Defenders," as the militia group calls itself, is located in the mountains of the southern part of the country ... continue reading


ISIS terror attacks reach Indonesia (WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS) Watch

Image of ISIS fanatics pulled weapons and attacked the citizens of Indonesia's capital (Xinhua/Barcroft Media).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Thursday, ISIS sympathizers armed themselves with an array of weapons and stepped forward to wreak havoc in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. Suicide bomb blasts and shootings ensued, leaving five of the attackers - and several civilians - dead. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have scientists discovered a new species of humans? Watch

Image of The more we learn about human evolution and migration, the more we realize how little we know.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have discovered stone tools on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia, which have been dated to at least 118,000-years-old. The find suggests that primitive humans inhabited the island long before the arrival of modern humans. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


AMAZING PHOTOS! Australian angler rides nine-foot bull shark like bucking bronco Watch

Image of Angler Stephen Pateman, believed to be from Grafton, New South Wales, is shown astride a large shark. Pateman wears a broad grin as the shark's mouth gapes open (Stephen Pateman/Facebook).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Startling images of an Australian fisherman riding a nine-foot long bull shark like a bucking bronco have turned up online. While delightful, the pictures raise concerns as the site of the photograph is a popular recreation waterway in Clarence River, ... continue reading


Possible MH370 find leads to unexpected discovery Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH370 continues as authorities announce the wreckage beneath the Indian Ocean belongs to the remains of a 200-year-old ship. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The flight went missing in 2014 with 239 ... continue reading


GRAPHIC VIDEO - Afghan lynch mob kills woman falsely accused of burning Koran

Image of Protests across Afghanistan erupted following the lynching.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cell phone footage of an Afghan woman being killed by a lynch mob has surfaced online. In March, an Afghan woman was accused by a Muslim cleric of burning Koran. While she was almost certainly innocent of the charges, a lynch mob formed and attacked her. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Indian Christians massacred in 2008, the next saints? Watch

Image of Although those killed often lost their lives in gruesome ways,

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

The green light has officially been given to open the cause for sainthood of the nearly 100 Christians murdered in the Indian state of Odisha in 2008. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - The opening of the cause is a source of pride for the relatives of those killed, ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8
1 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord seated on a high and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 7th, 2016 Image

St. Moses
February 7: Arab hermit and bishop who is called "the Apostle ... Read More