Youth Camp in East Malaysia supported by OD through local partners – bible in local language sitting on table

Recently, a Muslim politician, Norlela Ariffin, told the Penang Legislative Assembly that the Malay Bibles (Alkitab) should not be considered a threat to the faith of Muslims. “We don’t want Muslims to have this fear that just by touching a Bible, they immediately become a murtad (apostate), this is not true,” she said.

The news was reported by our local newspaper, The Malay Mail, on 4 November 2019. It sparked a lot of discussions on Facebook, with some commending her. One commented, “Good job Norlela, I believe what u have been doing is extremely important in improving racial harmony in Malaysia. U have all our support.”

However, there were some who questioned the reasons for having the Bible in the national Malay language, the Alkitab. In fact, it is distributed to native believers of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia. They make up about 70% of the total Christian population. They are fluent in the national Malay language and call God ‘Allah’, just like Muslims. Because of their similarities, both the Malay Bible and ‘Allah’ have become contentious issues in the country.

Group of girls singing songs of worship in the youth camp.

“In many communities throughout Malaysia, it is difficult to own a (Malay) Bible, because this country is known as an Islamic country. The distribution of the Bible is not easy,” says Pastor Lukas*. But with support from Open Doors, he is able to give the young people he works with the Bible in their own languages.

Lukas says, “There are some, when they see the Bible for the first time, they kiss it. They tell me that this is the first time they have seen a Bible. They actually can’t afford a Bible, so when we give them the Bible, they are incredibly grateful because they have the opportunity to know who Jesus is. That makes them very happy.”

PLEASE PRAY

  • Pray for the distribution of the Malay Bible to believers in East Malaysia. Pray for God to use His Word to change of lives of these young people inside out and make them His salt and light all over the country.
  • Pray for the ministry of Pastor Lukas to reach the lost young generation of native believers. Pray for God to provide for all his needs, including his finances and providing others to be a part of his ministry.

*Name changed for security reasons

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