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Malaysian prelate criticizes prime minister over ‘Allah’ restriction

Catholic World News - December 26, 2013

A prominent Malaysian prelate called upon Prime Minister Najib Razak to stop opposing the right of Christians to invoke God as “Allah.”

Christians in Malaysia have used “Allah” in reference to God since the seventeenth century; an October court decision, however, ordered a Catholic newspaper not to refer to God as “Allah.”

Archbishop Murphy Pakiam said that he is “praying that Allah will enlighten” Razak “to be a statesman, above party politics or this group or that group.”

“But still, he is the prime minister, so I have to pray, God, please help him to see his mission, his duty for the whole country, not for just UMNO” – a reference to the nation’s largest political party.

The prelate’s comments followed Razak’s call for greater cooperation between Christians and Muslims, and in turn were followed by the hacking of the Malaysian Catholic newspaper’s website.

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

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