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Leading Malaysian prelate: ‘Allah’ will continue to be used in Bible, liturgies

Catholic World News - October 15, 2013

Malaysia’s leading prelate told the Fides news agency that Catholics will continue to use the word “Allah” to refer to God in the liturgy.

Catholics in Malaysia have referred to God as “Allah” since the seventeenth century.

Archbishop Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur pointed out that a recent court ruling striking down the Church’s use of “Allah” refers only to a weekly Catholic newspaper “and not our ‘Alkitab,’ [the] historical Bible in [the] Malaysian language.”

“The unknown is represented by radical Islamic groups, which could give a restrictive interpretation of the judgment,” he added. “Last night [October 13], we prayed at the stadium in Kuala Lumpur to consecrate our nation to the Virgin Mary, in communion with the Holy Father. Our weapon is prayer. We hope and pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten legislators and decision-makers. Even extremist groups need our prayer.”

Located in Southeast Asia, the nation of 29 million is 60% Muslim, 19% Buddhist, 6% Hindu, 6% Protestant, and 3% Catholic.

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