Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/25/2014 (1 month ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Malaysian Catholics have long used 'Allah' to refer to the Christian god

Catholics in Malaysia are forbidden to say the word "Allah," which is the Arabic name for God, in Malaysia. Malaysia's highest court has upheld the ban, ending a years-long legal battle. Observers see the verdict as a test case for the country's wider Christian congregation. In the meantime, officials insist the verdict is confined to one Catholic newspaper. Worshipers can still use "Allah" to refer to God in church, the Malaysian government says.

Authorities maintain that using 'Allah' in non-Muslim literature could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert, which is a crime in Malaysia.

Authorities maintain that using "Allah" in non-Muslim literature could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert, which is a crime in Malaysia.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/25/2014 (1 month ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Malaysia, Allah, Catholics, forbidden, court case


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a highly divisive case, the Catholic Church here challenged a ban on its appropriation of the Arabic word. Overall, minorities claim their rights are under threat from the creeping "Islam-ization" they say is sweeping Malaysia.

The Malay government had previously banned the use of "Allah" in the local Malay-language edition of the Church's Herald newspaper. The use of the word had angered Muslims, who claim Christians are overstepping religious boundaries.

Learn how to make your prayers even more effective -- by going here --

A seven-judge panel in Malaysia's administrative capital Putrajaya upheld a lower court decision which sided with the government's ban.

"The ruling only applies to the Herald newspaper's use of the word 'Allah.' Malaysian Christians can still use the word 'Allah' in church," a government spokesman reiterated.

Christians say they had used the Arabic word to refer to God in Malay for centuries.

"The Christian community continues to have the right to use the word 'Allah' in our Bibles, church services and Christian gatherings," Eu Hong Seng, chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, said.

Lawyers for the Catholic Church said they would explore new ways to challenge the ban, which fear the ruling could be used as a precedent to curtail religious freedom in other cases.

A hundred Muslim activists outside the courtroom cheered the news of the verdict. They had earlier shouted "Allahu Akbar," or God is great and waved banners that read "Uniting to defend the name of Allah."

"We must defend Allah because this is our religious obligation. I hope other communities, including Christians, understand this," Ibrahim Ali, head of Muslim rights group Perkasa, said.

The issue first began when Malaysia's home ministry in 2007 threatened to revoke the Herald's publishing permit for using the Arabic word in its Malay-language edition.

The Church argued that "Allah" had been used for centuries in Malay-language Bibles and other literature to refer to "God" outside of Islam.

Authorities maintain that using "Allah" in non-Muslim literature could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert, which is a crime in Malaysia.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

More than 100 Chinese Muslims killed in Xinjiang in 'terror attack' Watch

Image of The violence was described as a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly 100 people are now dead or wounded in a clash in Xinjiang, home to China's mostly Muslim Uyghur minority. Authorities have described the tragedy called a "terror attack" on a police station and township. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Pope Francis to beatify 124 Koreans during August visit Watch

Image of Pope Francis plans to beatify Korea's first martyr, Paul Yun Ji-chung, as well his 123 companions in his visit to South Korea in August.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis plans to beatify Korea's first martyr, Paul Yun Ji-chung, as well his 123 companions in his visit to South Korea in August. Paul Yun Ji-chung along with his companions were killed for their faith in the 19th Century. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Sinister Smartphone app lets teenagers to have casual sex with strangers Watch

Image of The Smartphone app Tinder, popular in Australia, leaves many teenagers vulnerable to sexual predators who lie about their age in their profiles.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Teenagers down under in Australia are using a popular smartphone app, called Tinder to arrange for sexual encounters with strangers. Although the application has an age restriction of 13 years and older, Tinder lets users to "like" or "pass" on fellow users' ... continue reading


China begins vaccine devolopment with a BANG! Watch

Image of Japanese encephalitis is a disease caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus. The Japanese encephalitis virus has an incubation perioid of 5 to 15 days.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China is expected to begin exporting a manufactured vaccine for Japanese encephalitis by early 2015 to needy Southeast Asian countries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The vaccine is intended to protect children in those poor countries from the deadly virus.You ... continue reading


India battles to contain 'brain fever' as death toll approaches 570 Watch

Image of Floods also lead to the contamination of water sources such as wells, leaving many people with no option but to use the same dirty water for both drinking and washing.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 570 people in India have died after contracting encephalitis, commonly known as "brain fever," health authorities said on Friday, warning the death toll may rise further. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Outbreaks of both Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and ... continue reading


India's secret suicide epidemic! 2013 saw more than 150,000 deaths! Watch

Image of Men are twice as likely to commit suicide as women in India, based on a study of suicide cases from 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Men in India are twice as likely to commit suicide according to an Indian government agency which is responsible for collecting and analyzing crime data. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2013, 134,000 people committed suicide in India, and two thirds were men ... continue reading


Typhoon caused 47 deaths in plane crash in Taiwan Watch

Image of A typhoon in Taiwan caused a plane to crash, killing 47 and injuring 11.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A TransAsia Airways turboprop plane crashed on an island off the coast of Taiwan as it attempted a desperate emergency landing during a typhoon on July 23. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Of the 58 passengers aboard the plane 47 were killed and 11 were injured ... continue reading


NATIONAL DISGRACE: India is home to one in three of all forced child marriages Watch

Image of In rural Indian villages, there are very real concerns about the safety of girls. If a girl is married off early, the strained logic is that her husband can protect her. She is treated as property.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a national shame for Southeast Asia's economic powerhouse: One in all three forced child marriages in the world is in India. It's a regional shame as well, as a new UNICEF study has proved almost half of all child marriages are in South Asia. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Men outnumber women in India, Nepal and Bangladesh new study says Watch

Image of The ratio of women to men in India continues to decrease, a new report from the United Nations says, and it is expected to continue to decrease in the future.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A United Nations report, released on July 22, says that India needs to take urgent action following a sharp decline in its child sex ratio. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "Sex Ratios and Gender-Biased Sex Selection: History, Debate and Future Directions" ... continue reading


DEATH INDUSTRY: Pakistan's stone crushing factories take toll on workers Watch

Image of Lack of dust control systems at stone-crushing factories mean silica dust will also affect people in nearby areas. In fact, most crushing units are located in or near residential areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Any type of industry in developing nations are usually seen as good things, but this is not always the case. Pakistan's stone crushing factories, which exist far and away from any sort of regulatory and safety laws, claim the lives of many of its laborers. Dust ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:1-9
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:6, 8-10, 14
6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter