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Molotov cocktails thrown at parish in Malaysia

Catholic World News - January 29, 2014

After banners proclaiming, “Allah is Great, Jesus is the son of Allah” were placed outside five Malaysian churches without the consent of the pastors, one of the churches was attacked with Molotov cocktails, The Malaysian Insider reported.

The incidents at the churches – four of them Catholic, the other Lutheran – occurred amid continued controversy over the use of the word “Allah.” The church that suffered the violent attack was a Catholic parish. No injuries were reported.

Christians in Malaysia have been using the term since the seventeenth century, but Selangor, one of the nation’s 13 states, is governed by a sultan who has decreed that non-Muslims may not use the term “Allah” to address God. In addition, the national government has attempted to forbid the use of the term by the nation’s Catholic newspaper.

The Southeast Asian nation of 29.6 million is 60% Muslim, 19% Buddhist, 6% Hindu, 6% Protestant, and 3% Catholic. Islam is Malaysia’s official religion.

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