Relaymedia

American Missionaries Arrested in Malaysia for Passing Christian Literature

Two American missionaries were arrested on Monday in Malaysia and was ordered to be held for 14 days for investigations.
( [email protected] ) May 03, 2005 03:44 AM EDT

Two American missionaries were arrested on Monday in Malaysia and was ordered to be held for 14 days for investigations. The missionaries were arrested on the count of handling out Christian literature right out side of mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia's new administrative captial south of Kuala Lumpar.

The local Chinese say that it is not against the law to proselytize, yet the Islamic Malay in the country does not feel the say. Kevin Turner of Strategic World Impact, a fellow worker of Rick Rupert, who as one of two that were arrested, said that the arrest is a message We do not want the Gospel coming to the Malay, here in Malaysia.' What we have here, is a law that absolutely contradicts the Word of God, and they're willing to, obviously, enforce that, by putting a man in prison who actually had not even committed any type of crime."

Sunni Islam is the official and favored religion of Malaysia and has over the years exerted pressure to maintain the dominance of the Muslim society. Since the restrictions placed 20 years ago which limits religious freedom, in 1999 the Malay government has relaxed the restrictions in place of worship and missionary visas. However, it is still illegal to proselytize Muslims. Turner predicted that the case for the two arrested missionaries can go two ways, either the government would release them or process the case as a 'Tier 5 case' which will go through the Malaysian court system entirely.

The missionaries will appear in court again on May 9.