Malaysian Pastor abducted for helping Muslims
Malaysian Pastor Raymond Koh was on his way to a friend's home in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, the morning of February 13.
Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted after helping a Muslim.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As he made his way to his friend's home, three black SUVs surrounded his vehicle and forced him to stop.
Nearby surveillance cameras captured masked men stepping from the SUVs and entering Koh's vehicle, where a struggle ensued.
Fr. Koh has not been seen since.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Taoists released a statement reading: News of [Koh's] abduction have fanned fears across all religious divides in Malaysian society, as it is unprecedented for a man of faith to be abducted in this way in our peaceful multicultural country."
On Sunday, March 5, hundreds of Christians across Malaysia held candlelight vigils with Koh's family, with some holding signs reading, "Let Raymond go" and "Where is Pastor Raymond?"
Pastor Koh's wife, Susannah Lieu Sow Yoke, cried and stated: "We pray for his safe and quick release. At this time we look to God and [hope that] he'll be safe and we'll meet him again."
Police have been on the hunt for Pastor Koh's abductors and have arrested a suspect but no details have been released.
The Pastor's family offered a $22,500 reward for any information concerning Pastor Koh's whereabouts but none has been forthcoming.
Pastor Koh, who is 62-years-old, led an Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) in Malaysia for twenty years before starting the ministry in Harapan Komuniti in 2004.
It helps single mothers, drug addicts and those affected by HIV/AIDS. It holds an after school program and English tutoring without discrimination. Many of those benefiting from the church's programs are Muslim Malays, which led investigators to believe the abduction was due to discrimination against Muslims.
Where is Pastor Raymond Koh?
Islam is the official religion in Malaysia and the religious police believed Koh was trying to convert 12 Muslim Malays.
Pastor Koh's friend, who wished to remain anonymous, shared Pastor Koh held a thanksgiving fundraiser dinner with the Muslim Malays at a Methodist Church, was was raided by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department.
When no evidence was produced to prove the Pastor was attempting to convert the Muslims, the case was dropped but Koh's family began receiving threats.
Many Muslims were angry with Pastor Koh and one person shot a gun into his home after asking him to leave the country.
His photo was passed around and Muslims were called to kill the Pastor. Jonathan Koh, Pastor Koh's son, shared "we have been evading them [since 2011]. We have been moving around. We also received a lot of death threats on the internet. We have people following us."
The Malaysian Constitution protects non-Muslims and allow them freedom of religion - so long as they do not attempt to evangelize to the Muslim Malays.
Islamic police keep an eye on all interactions between Malays and Christians and are swift to dole out punishment to any Christians who step out of place.
In early March, Jonathan Koh filed a second police report after hearing nothing about his missing father and told Malaysian paper The Star that his father was likely kidnapped "because he speaks what he believes in and he shares his beliefs with people....He practices without exception everything that is written in the Bible."
Please pray for Pastor Koh's swift and safe return to his family.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2017
Young People. That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
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