Category : Malaysia

(The Hill) Russian-made missile downed jet over Ukraine, according to MH17 report

The Malaysian passenger plane that went down over eastern Ukraine last year was downed by a Russian-developed Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board says in a long-awaited report.

The surface-to-air missile detonated outside the front, left part of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 cockpit and caused other parts of the Boeing 777 to break off, according to the report released Tuesday.

The report does not say who fired the missile that brought down the plane, but suggests it should not have been flying in the area due to the risk from armed conflict there.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Malaysia, Politics in General, Russia, Theology, Travel, Ukraine

(The Star) Bishop of Sabak says ”˜no’ to same-sex marriages

The Anglican church here will not allow same-sex marriages to take place on its pre­mises, said newly installed Anglican bishop Melter Jiki (pic).

The 50-year-old bishop, who is the first native Kadazan chosen to lead the 90,000-strong Anglican community in the state, said this when asked about the church’s policies and what to expect during his tenure.

“We are totally against the so-called same-sex marriage. We will not allow it in the church,” said the father of four who was installed as the sixth Anglican bishop in Sabah on Tuesday

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Malaysia, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), The Anglican Church in South East Asia, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CEN) Anglicans support Pentecostal church after Muslim attack

Malaysian Anglicans have rallied to the support of a Pentecostal church in Petaling Jaya after a Muslim mob disrupted worship services…[recently] and forced the congregation to take down a cross mounted on the church’s facade.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Islam, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Malaysia, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Pentecostal, Religion & Culture, Violence

SE Asia Anglican head questions [Malaysian Prime Minister] Najib’s silence on seized-Bibles issue

The head of the Anglican Church in Southeast Asia has questioned Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s silence on the seized-Bibles issue and said it appeared to be a political strategy.

“I am inclined to think that he is conveying that the whole charade is not worthy of his comment. To do otherwise is to dignify what is plainly wicked,” Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok said today.

Lapok, who is also chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak, also questioned the prime minister’s refusal to condemn the action of the extreme minority “that is poisoning inter-religious tolerance”.

“The prime minister’s inaction may be politically smart. But is it morally right?” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Malaysia, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Anglican Church in South East Asia, Theology

The Bishop of West Malaysia's Easter Message for 2014–How Much Has Christ Risen In You?

Christ is Risen! The response during Eastertide is “He is Risen indeed!” Often the thought of the presence of the Risen Christ bothers me. Where is the Risen Christ now? This seems to be a silly question. Of course, Christ has ascended and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, as described in Romans 8:34. What I am really interested in is ”˜Does the Risen Christ have a place in our lives?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Asia, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Malaysia, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

(ACNS) Malaysia Anglican church holds prayer service for Flight MH370

The oldest Anglican church in Malaysia recently held a special service to pray for the families and victims of flight MH 370, the Malaysian government and other governments involved in the search and rescue efforts.

The Special Service of Praying for MH 370 was held on Sunday, 6th April in Christ Church, Melaka to allow worshippers to identify themselves, and stand in solidarity with those affected by the tragedy.

The Rt Revd Jason Selvaraj, Assistant Bishop of West Malaysia, said, “We wanted to tell the families that we are concerned and we stand with you at this painful time. We wanted to tell our Malaysian government and its people that our leaders are very much in our prayers as they work on the search and rescue mission.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Malaysia

Christians will defend right to use Allah, says Southest Asian Anglican Archbishop

With the row over the use of the word Allah still simmering, Anglican Christians in Sarawak said they will go all out to defend their right to use the word in worship.

Datuk Bolly Lapok, Anglican Archbishop for Southeast Asia, said they were willing to abandon their calling to be peacemakers and reconcilers, if “turning the other cheek to the provocateurs and extremists in political Islam that are relentlessly stoking the fire of hatred and bigotry is tantamount to sending a wrong message to them”.

He said this in a statement after a mass gathering of its Iban speaking congregation in Sri Aman today.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Malaysia, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Wired) How Vintage Tech Helped Us Track the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet

The saga of MH370, the Malaysian Airlines flight missing for more than two weeks, seems to be entering its final chapter. Earlier this week, engineers developed a method to estimate the plane’s trajectory, and debris appear to have been spotted in satellite images.

While the technique used to track the flight path has been called “groundbreaking,” it actually rests on some fairly old-fashioned physics. In fact, the basic method has been used to conduct satellite search and rescue operations for more than 30 years, predating our always-connected, GPS-enabled world.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Malaysia, Science & Technology, Travel

(Reuters) Malaysian court rules use of 'Allah' exclusive to Muslims

A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word “Allah” to refer to God, a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.

The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia’s appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the newspaper, The Herald, to use the word Allah – as many Christians in Malaysia say has been the case for centuries.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Malaysia, Media, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(Straits Times) Malaysia cracking down on Shi'ism

Malaysia is clamping down on Shi’ism, the second branch of Islamic orthodoxy, in a move that appears to have both religious and political overtones.

The nationwide crackdown began last month with the ban of local Shi’ite group Pertubuhan Syiah Malaysia. The same month, state governments gazetted a 1996 fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Council that declared Shi’ism deviant and therefore haram or impermissible.

There is also a witch hunt that has been going on for Shi’ite believers in four universities in Selangor and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur, as well as in the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Malaysia, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Malaysian Prime Minister to Meet With Pope in Gesture to Christians

A decision by Prime Minister Najib Razak to meet with Pope Benedict XVI on Monday signals a wish to mend ties with Malaysia’s Christians following a series of incidents, including the firebombing of churches, that have strained interfaith relations in this Muslim-majority nation, analysts say.

Mr. Najib is scheduled to visit Benedict at Castel Gandolfo, the pope’s summer residence near Rome, for talks that are expected to touch on the possibility of Malaysia establishing diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Foreign Relations, Islam, Malaysia, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence

Southeast Asia’s oldest Anglican church restored to its former glory

The priest of the 19th century St George’s Church is grateful that the church has return to its former glory thanks to the RM1.8 million restoration project under the National Heritage Department’s Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Venerable Charles Samuel said church members were very grateful to the government’s contribution in the refurbishment of the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia. The restoration project was completed in November last year.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Asia, Malaysia, Parish Ministry, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

In Malaysia, Web's Popularity Breaks A Grip On Power

In established democracies, the Internet has become a powerful political tool used for mobilizing, fundraising and advertising. The Internet has taken on an important but different role in emerging democracies, such as Malaysia, where its use has been essential in breaking a half-century old monopoly on power by the ruling coalition.

When mainstream media will not or cannot cover important political stories, many Malaysians click toward Malaysiakini, or Malaysia Now, the nation’s most popular news website.

The site attracts 300,000 visitors a day to its text and video content in English, Bahasa, Chinese and Tamil. The languages reflect the main ethnic groups of Malaysia’s 28 million people: roughly 54 percent ethnic Malays, 24 percent ethnic Chinese and 7 percent ethnic Indians.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, Malaysia, Politics in General, Science & Technology

LA Times: Canings and church firebombings Flare up in Malaysia

The Metro Tabernacle Church, a storefront with metal shutters, sits gutted, black smoke stains on the concrete pillars bearing witness to the intense fire that destroyed the property.

The attacks on this and more than a dozen other houses of worship in January, followed in February by the caning of three Muslim teenagers for extramarital sex and a kerfuffle this month over an insulting act during a Christian service have prompted some soul-searching in Malaysia.

Though religious tensions have occasionally simmered in this multicultural society, these were the first attacks in recent memory, and left some Malaysians wondering how committed their nation remains to its relatively tolerant brand of Islam and what the cost could be to its global image, foreign investments and tourism trade.

“It hurts your international reputation,” said Kharis Idris, director of the MyFuture Foundation, which promotes multicultural engagement. “Church burning doesn’t sound good in any country. If it goes on, it will be bad for the economy. And if someone were to kill someone, all hell could break loose.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Islam, Malaysia, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

Robert Wright on a recent New York Times Story on Christianity and Islam

I’m not saying Christians are more to blame than Muslims for the world’s diverse Christian-Muslim tensions. In Nigeria, for example, the intensity of Christian proselytizing comes partly from past persecution by a Muslim majority; the Christians seek safety in numbers, so the bigger their numbers, the better. (Griswold explained this to me, and confirmed that, yes, assertive Christian proselytizing exacerbates tensions in Nigeria.)

Still, even if proselytizing isn’t the prime mover, my guess is that it pretty consistently falls in the “not helpful” category from the point of view of world peace and, ultimately, American security. And some of it ”” e.g., the “Camel Method” ”” is particularly antagonistic. Which explains why I’m not a big fan of that first headline, “A Christian Overture to Muslims Has Its Critics.” Overtures, when effective, don’t heighten tensions.

I’d like to be able to report that the “critics” in this headline are Christians who worry about heightening tensions and so refrain from offensive proselytizing. Alas, they’re Christians who favor assertive proselytizing but are offended by any suggestion that Muslims and Christians might worship the same god. One of them, Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, in Lynchburg, Va., said in a recent podcast, “There’s nothing that the two gods ”” the god of the Koran and the god of scripture ”” have in common. Nothing.”

Well, to look at the bright side: Maybe that’s a basis for interfaith rapport; Caner can sit around with Malaysian Muslims and agree that they worship different gods.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Asia, Evangelism and Church Growth, Islam, Malaysia, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology