Islam’s stifling control over legal and cultural aspects of life manifest itself in a remarkable “Catch-22” situation in Malaysia.
In the West, our society’s attitude toward religious convictions is that they should be personal and private, with as little public impact as possible. In many Islamic countries, the cultural attitude is different. Islam is the cornerstone of a person’s public identity.
In Malaysia, if a person wants to convert to Christianity (and have that religion appear on their national identity card instead of Islam), they must first get approval from a sharia court. However, the sharia court simply recommends that the person needs “re-education” on Islam, and then denies their request to leave Islam. Per the country’s constitution, all ethnic Malays are born Muslim, and someone who leaves Islam is declared to be a non-Malay.
Malaysian Christians live in a classic “Catch-22” paradox where it is impossible to escape Islam because of the contradictory rules of Malaysian citizenship.
“. . . Islamic enactments should not be tested on the fundamental liberty clauses of the Federal Constitution” — Malaysian Islamic lawyer claiming that sharia is not just separate from but beyond the reach of federal, civil law.
Victoria Jayaseele, a Christian lawyer in Malaysia, found that Christian converts were handicapped in the sharia courtroom because the only lawyers they could hire to defend their choice to leave Islam are Muslim lawyers. She appealed the law in front of the highest court in Malaysia. Sadly, this spring, her appeal was denied.
“Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” — 1 John 5:5
5/24 — Pray that this roadblock will not discourage converts from openly proclaiming their new life in Christ Jesus.
5/25 — Praise God that all the suffering experienced by Malaysian Christians is preparing for them riches in heaven.
5/26 — Ask God to enable a spirit of fervent love in Malaysian Christians when they interact with Muslims.
5/27 — Pray that Christians in Malaysia will clothe themselves in humility as they cast their burdens on the Lord.
5/28 — Pray that the appeal for justice for Christians in the Malaysian Muslim courts will be revived and succeed.
5/29 — Ask God to equip pastors and teachers in Malaysia to build the Church on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ.
5/30 — Pray for Malaysian believers to take up the shield of faith to quench the flaming lies of our Enemy.
5/31 — Pray that Christians in Malaysia will find their supreme delight, joy and rest in Christ alone.