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Malaysia has three major ethnicities: Malay (60 percent), Chinese (30 percent) and native tribes. The Malays are the most powerful group in the country, and being Muslim is considered an important part of their identity. Most Christians are from the tribal and Chinese people groups, and most churches experience relative freedom as long as they do not evangelize the Malays.
56 percent of Malaysians are Sunni Muslims, but there is also a significant Buddhist population. 9 percent are Christians, including 4 percent evangelicals.
The government severely punishes Christian converts and strictly opposes outreach and evangelism among the Malay people.
What It Means To Follow Christ In Malaysia:
While Christianity is not illegal, Christians are marginalized by the ruling Muslim ethnic group and have difficulty acquiring building permits for new churches. Many churches work in the languages of Mandarin, Tamil and English, but not in the Malay language. No Malay churches meet openly, and it is illegal for Malays to convert to Christianity. Christian converts who are caught are confined to so-called re-education camps that use torture and propaganda to force them to return to Islam. Many indigenous people have come to Christ in eastern Malaysia.
Access To Bibles:
It is illegal for Malay people to own a Bible, and Malay-language Bibles are largely unavailable outside Christian-majority areas. Give Bibles
VOM supports front-line workers and persecuted Malay Christians. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry
- Pray for boldness as believers witness to their Muslim friends and neighbors.
- Pray that believers will be set free from the fear of persecution.
- Pray for the continued ability of Christian workers to minister in Malaysia.
- Pray that God will bring about an end to government corruption.
- Pray that Christian converts from Islam will find fellowship with other believers.