Building Bridges

Muslims should work together with Hindus and Buddhists against a common threat: Christian Evangelism.

Although the Allah issue has been grabbing all the headlines, the fact is that it is the Hindus, Buddhists and other non-Christian minorities that have been most adversely affected by the activities of the Christian evangelists. Faced with an enemy that is sophisticated, well funded and not averse to modifying its message for maximum impact, their numbers are dwindling.

The Malaysia Hindu Sangam, for example, has been fighting for decades to stop Christian evangelists from aggressively targeting Hindus for conversion. Their repeated appeals to Christian organizations that are fellow MCCBCHST members have apparently fallen on deaf ears. Below are excerpts of a letter written by former MHS and MCCBCHST President A Vaithilingam just recently:

Let me take you all back to 1983 when we gathered at Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. The Christians were then on an aggressive campaign of converting Hinduism with lies and ridicule of Hinduism. They included the Evangelists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Tamil Methodist Church and others. Film actors and recently converted paid fanatics were brought in to this country to spread lies and falsehood about our religion. But the effect of the Rally in 1983 was great: the Hindus arose and with the support of Government official these liars had to return home. House to House campaign was conducted by Hindus. More religious training programmes were held. Youths rose up, conversions were reduced and we all became more aware. We are NOW faced with the similar situation again.

Today the conversion band of Christians are out again. Now the situation is quite different. Evangelists are setting up churches in villages and streets. Nothing wrong in that, but, they have now local Pastors who talk about devil being in you when their God is not in you as though they have cured all their followers in the world! Why are their own kind dying everyday? Hindus must not be taken for a ride by such sentiments. Hospital visits are made by these Pastors especially looking out for ‘death bed’ patients. They attempt to touch the hearts of those in the non Christian family in this venture of death bed conversion!

We in the MCCBCHST have stood by together in all our difficulties. This is also happening to other non Christian members in the Majlis. I suggest that that the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) make a study of our complaints and that they themselves take the necessary action to prevent these excesses.

They talk of the devious and unethical methods used by the Christians to propagate their religion. They are rightfully proud of their diligence in defending Hinduism. Yet when Muslims act to protect their religion from the very same threat, they say no, this is wrong. Why is that?

The reason is that the Christians have successfully framed the argument as one of the Muslim majority persecuting the non-Muslim minority. The Muslim cause has undoubtedly not been helped by the boorish and insensitive actions of some who purport to act on behalf of Islam in the past. Incidents like the cow head demonstration, use of derogatory terms to refer to Hindus, body snatching and temple demolitions have only served to push Hindus and other religious minorities away. The irony of this is that the greatest threat to Hinduism in Malaysia today is not the Muslims, but the Christians. While highly emotive, the above incidences are fairly isolated and in reality affect only a small number of people. The impact of unbridled Christian proselytisation on other non-Muslim, non-Christian communities is far, far greater.

Muslim organizations must reach out to their counterparts of other faiths in pursuing a common cause. They must make it clear that the issue is only about protecting their faith from aggressive outsiders and that they have no interest in stopping others from practising their own faiths.

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2 Responses to “Building Bridges”

  1. IDRIS BIN MD ISA Says:

    How can we Muslims work together with them when they have allied themselves with the Christians. To make matters much worse, they, collectively, indulge in Islam and Muslim bashing every now and then. When Muslims’ and Christians’ interests clash, they always support the Christians. The Allah issue is one prime example, non-Christian non-Muslims have been solidly behind the Christians. They have no f,,,,ng business to interfere [sorry, very angry la]. Instead of being the peacemakers, they inflame the fire of hatred even more. Aren’t they, the non-Christian non-Muslims a big part of the campaign to challenge the position of Islam as the official religion of the Federation? In Islam, the alliance of non-Muslims against Islam/Muslims is called “al-ahzab”. A chapter of the qur’an is named “al-ahzab” to refer to this alliance. The MCCBCHST is the Malaysia’s version of the al-ahzab.

    The Christians’ missionary modus operandi is similar. They don’t preach about the virtues of Christianity because there’s nothing virtuous about it. In fact, the Christian doctrine is incomprehensible, illogical, unexplainable, absurd and weird. So, to gain convert, they distort and lie about the religion of their target, with plenty of goodies and sweeteners thrown in.

    Don’t create animosities with Islam and Muslims. We are tolerant and peace loving people {exceptions excepted]. Those incidents you cited were perpetrated by a small minority of thoughtless UMNO goons. But UMNO is not Islam based, or secular, in other word.. Sadly, though, neither can you trust PAS now, under the present leadership of renegades.

    • oik65 Says:

      Thanks for your comment. Lot’s of folk drop by, but for some reason very few say anything, so it is much appreciated.
      With regards to the non-Christian minorities, I guess the questions to ask are “why?” and “what can we do about it?”. Perhaps we can learn from the Prophet’s example of how he dealt with the coalition and finally won the Battle of Ahzab.

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