Islamic law forbids Christians to build new churches or repair old ones. When they get approval to do so in places like moderate Malaysia, some Muslims are outraged nevertheless, and see it all as part of a huge evangelization plot.
“Fearing ‘Christianisation’, local NGO wants construction of new church stopped,” by Pathma Subramanian, Malay Mail Online, November 2, 2014 (thanks to Timothy):
PETALING JAYA, Nov 2 — Some 70 local residents and members of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) protested against the construction of a church, claiming the growing number of Christian places of worship in the area is part of an attempt to evangelise and convert Muslims to Christianity.
The Petaling chapter of Pertubuhan Sahabat — the NGO which organised the demonstration this morning — said that there are three churches in the vicinity, although close to 70 per cent of the residents in the area are Muslims and predominantly Malay.
The NGO’s spokesman Ishak Maarof instead suggested that the land should have been delineated for the construction of a Hindu temple, claiming that some 25 per cent of the area’s residents were Hindus.
“I resided on this plot when it was a squatter area… but we moved when they wanted to build a place of worship. We gave way because we thought it was for a temple… I can’t believe they demolished our homes and stalls just to build another church,” Ishak told the crowd in the sweltering heat.
“Even before the church is built, flyers on Christianity have been distributed to our homes, and this could confuse our children and divert them from the path of Islam,” he said.
The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) approved the construction of a four-storey church in the vacant plot of land — which was set aside for the construction of a non-Muslim place of worship — opposite the Mentari Court and Damai apartment complexes in 2012.
The vacant plot was previously occupied by squatters, a car park and several food stalls.
“Aren’t those three churches enough to cater to the Christians… only some of the Indonesians here are Christians as far as we know,” said a Damai Apartment resident Norhafiza Hassan, 42, who joined the demonstration which kicked off at 9.30am today.
Norhafiza said that the existing churches often organised charity events and distributed free food — which she claimed were part of the church’s evangelistic activities.
“They use the free food to entice our children,” she told reporters….