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Church growing in Malaysia despite Muslim resistance

Catholic World News - August 17, 2010

The Catholic faith is spreading in Malaysia in spite of social pressure from the country’s Muslim majority, the AsiaNews service reports.

Although Malaysia’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion, the Islamic majority exercises considerable control over the country’s society, and Christians are regularly treated as second-class citizens. Last year the nation’s Catholic newspaper was ordered to stop using the word “Allah,” although that is the word commonly used by Christians in reference to God. The newspaper challenged the government’s order, and won a court decision allowing the use of “Allah” in the Catholic publication.

Just over 60% of Malaysia’s 23 million people are Muslims. Christians—predominantly Catholics-- make up 9% of the population.

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