Malaysian churches to defy ban on
By CAROLYN HONG
MALAYSIA BUREAU CHIEF
KUALA LUMPUR - Churches in Malaysia said they will continue using "Allah" to refer to the Christian God, defying a decree by the Sultan of Selangor that only Muslims can use the word.
Two church bodies yesterday said in statements that "Allah" has been used by Christians for centuries, and that they regarded this as part of their constitutional right to the freedom of worship.
This comes after the Sikh community said the ban on "Allah" would be a restriction on its religious practices as the word has long been used in its scriptures.
Religion is a combustible topic in predominantly-Muslim Malaysia, and the minority non-Muslims have tended to avoid rocking the boat. But in recent years, they have become more vocal, turning long-suppressed issues into potential election fodder for the polls, to be held within six months.
The long-standing dispute over the use of "Allah" last exploded in 2010 when the High Court allowed the Catholic Church's publication, Herald, to use "Allah" to refer to the Christian God. Some Muslims were angry and two Muslim men firebombed a church.
It recently flared up again after Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng urged the government to allow the import of Malay-language bibles using the word "Allah".
The Sultan of Selangor, who is head of religion in the state, subsequently issued a decree that the word was a holy one exclusive for Muslims, and banned its use by non-Muslims in Selangor.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia, which represents the mainstream Protestant churches and the Catholic Church, yesterday issued an indignant statement.
"Malaysian Christians have been using the word 'Allah' in our Bahasa Malaysia bibles and in our faith to signify the Almighty God, and we will continue to do so," said its chairman Ng Moon Hing.
The Council of Churches of Malaysia, representing Protestant churches, said many indigenous communities use "Allah" daily. "We shall continue this practice... and call on all parties to respect this fundamental right," it said.
The issue has turned political. The opposition Pakatan Rakyat, including Parti Islam SeMalaysia, agreed that "Allah" can be used by non-Muslims if it is not used to try to convert Muslims. The ruling Barisan Nasional has not come up with a clear position.
Asia, The Straits Times, Thursday, January 10 2013, Pg A12Edited by M the name 10 Jan `13, 5:22PM
Pastor accused of sexually abusing girl
By ELENA CHONG
AN ASSISTANT pastor of a church was charged in court yesterday with two counts of having oral sex with a minor and one of committing an obscene act with a child.
The 45-year-old cannot be named as there is a gag order prohibiting the publication of any information that will lead to the identification of the girl.
She was 15 at the time of the alleged offences in 2011 and worshipped at the church.
The accused allegedly sexually abused the minor at a park near Bartley MRT station in Bartley Road between the end of September and early October that year.
That morning, he is also said to have committed an obscene act with a child by holding the girl's hand to rub him.
Then in mid-October that year, he allegedly abused her again by making her perform oral sex on him on the church premises.
Clad in a long-sleeved dark blue striped shirt and grey trousers, the bespectacled father of three indicated to the court that he wished to engage a lawyer.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Agnes Chan said if the accused pleaded guilty, the prosecution would proceed on the two sex charges.
The accused, who is on police bail of $5,000, was told by the court not to approach the victim.
He is believed to be no longer working in the church.
The maximum punishment for the two sexual offences is 10 years' jail and a fine for each offence.
Under the Children and Young Persons Act, any person found guilty of committing an indecent act with a child or young person can be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to five years.
Meanwhile, the case of a relief teacher at a secondary school who faces four charges of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl and committing an indecent act with a child has been fixed for a pre-trial conference on Feb 4.
The alleged offences occurred at staircase landings in Tampines and Loyang Point, as well as at his home in 2011.
Top of the news, The Straits Times, Tuesday January 15 2013, Pg A2
Originally posted by tautology:
hello, i m a newbie with christ. only recently believe in jesus. been reading ESV of bible. i find peace with god. any senior can guide me to get closer to god?
I don't know why the replies to your question prior to mine are not answering your question at all. Completely irrelevant.
Anyway, here's my thoughts. Read the Bible and pray everyday. And be in regular fellowship with believers.
TS, it is the beginning of the fairy tale that you are drawn into. There is a lighthouse shinning bright and glorious, beckoning to you. But the lighthouse is an illusion like
as in the desert. What attracted you into it is different from each and every one, although
it indoctrinates the forgiving of sins by god thru christ.
Many have become the true believer of Jesus, but few has learnt to be like Jesus. Even
it is an illusion, there are lots of bad skillful things to learn and also pure good things as well.
Infront of you is a general view with your available knowledge that you think is correct. With a matter of careful and tedious study of the facts and evidences, the illusion will dispel if you choose Truth over Belief. There are christians who for many years believe this belief to be true, but eventually found out this is not to be true. Instead they lie to themselves that although this could not that true afterall, neverthless they should keep their faith like a faithful servant and be ignorant like an agnostic at the same time.