This Christmas season, over 2,000 Christians gathered for the massive caroling event in Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu. Though the national religion is predominantly Muslim, it has been a blessing that Christians have been allowed the opportunity to gather for this cherished tradition whereas in neighboring countries such gatherings are often not allowed. The event was sponsored and organized by the Sabah Council of Churches in Malaysia.
Amongst the dignitaries who came to witness the event were Sabah Council of Churches President Datuk Voo Thien Fui, Archbishop of South East Asia Anglican Churches Datuk Yong Ping Chung, key Christian Assemblymen, and Members of Parliament
Bishop John Lee started began the celebrations with a simple prayer. Afterward, several music ministries delivered performance including the BCCM Chinese Choir, Combined Churches Choir, BCCM BM Choir, and the Tenom and Keningu Children’s Choir. Then, Christians of multi-ethnicities joined together and caroled away the evening.
"We must persist in working hard to promote understanding and national unity. This is the aspiration of the Government under the leadership of our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi," said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan of the Sabah Council of Churches.
Kitingan commented that he believed that the conflict he sees between Muslims and Christians especially in the Middle East is highly unnecessary. "To promote peace and goodwill among men, we must together embark on a journey of understanding and reconciliation through the process of dialogue," he said.