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Malaysia: Christians accused of lobbying for ‘Christian state’

Catholic World News - May 10, 2011

Christian leaders in Malaysia are dismissing claims by Muslim bloggers and a government-owned newspaper that they are lobbying to have Malaysia declared a Christian state. Since 1957, the nation has been officially Muslim--a status that is “sacrosanct and can never and must never be questioned,” said Minister of Home Affairs Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

“The home minister was not prudent, [saying] this is a serious allegation, and [that the government] will take action,” said Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic Weekly. Government officials “feel they are losing the popularity that they once enjoyed,” he said. “Because they are losing the popularity, they would enjoy some uneasiness that would create confusion--that would create fear--in the people.”

60% of the nation’s 28 million people are Muslim; 19% are Buddhist, 6% Hindu, 6% Protestant, and 3% Catholic.

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