In the days of the early church, there was no alternative to suffering arising from the persecution of Christians. In the times of Jesus and Paul, there was no such thing as democracy or human rights or elections. The early Christians lived in an environment where rulers were dictators and tyrants who wielded the power of life and death arbitrarily over their subjects. Thus, the early Christians developed a strong theology of suffering and submission to authority. In the modern world, especially in democratic societies including Malaysia, constitutional guarantees of human rights and access to justice have eroded the Church’s millenia-long values of suffering for the faith. Thus, when Christians or churches are persecuted today for the exercise of their faith, the modern-day “Christian response” is to fight back with all the legal and political weapons available in the Church’s armoury. In the wake of the raid on BSM, the principle of “turning the other cheek” as taught by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount was reinterpreted by one Christian organisation to mean resorting to confrontation to assert one’s legal rights. They must have realised that it didn’t sound convincing. In a follow up article, they just simply said that to determine the Christian stand on church-state relations, you cannot refer to the bible but only to “Christian political tradition.”
There may still be many who want to do the work of God in Selangor and who are prepared to suffer the consequences. For such people, I wish to let you know what you are in for.
Non-Muslim Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988 of Selangor
|4||Persuading, influencing or inciting a Muslim to change faith||1 year’s jail or RM10,000 fine|
|5||Subjecting a minor who is a Muslim to influences of a non-Muslim religion, ie receiving instruction, taking part in ceremony or worship or any activity associated with a non-Islamic religion||1 year’s jail or RM10,000 fine|
|6||Approaching a Muslim to subject him to any speech or display of any matter concerning a non-Islamic religion||6 month’s jail or RM5,000 fine|
|7||Sending or delivering publications concerning any non-Islamic religion to a Muslim||3 month’s jail or RM3,000 fine|
|8||Distributing in a public place publications concerning a non-Islamic religion to Muslims||RM1,000 fine|
|9||Using prohibited words (eg. Allah) in a published writing, public or broadcasted speech or statement to describe anything pertaining to a non-Islamic religion||RM1,000 fine|
For those whose religious conviction tells them that they must follow God rather than man, I say to you that you have not chosen a wrong path but that you walk in the footsteps of the martyrs, the apostles and Jesus Christ Himself.