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Malaysia: Three Bold Friends


Felipe, Dian, and Budi are Malay friends. Malays are the largest group of people in the country of Malaysia. Chinese people and people from India also live in Malaysia.

The Chinese and Indian people can be Christian. But Malays are expected to be Muslims. It’s not easy for a Malay to become a Christian.

Some churches are even afraid to let Malays come in their door. The pastors know they could be persecuted for teaching Muslims truths from the Bible. But a bold priest in an Anglican church helped Felipe, Dian, and Budi learn about Jesus.

The three friends told a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs about their experiences.

Felipe: When we were small, we would sneak into the church. We sat behind the pillars in the sanctuary so people couldn’t see us. The priest was a kind man. He came to us and whispered, “Please try not to come often to the church. Officials have asked us why we allow Malays in our church.”

Sometimes we would go to the church when no one was there. We would sit in a pew, and try to pray. We didn’t know a lot about Jesus. But we were drawn by His love.

One day we asked the priest for a Bible. He gave us a beautiful one.

Our families were Muslim. We worried that they might see us reading the Bible. We lit candles under the bed at night to read, but we were always afraid of starting a fire.

Budi: For many years the three of us met together. We prayed, sang, and listened to Christian cassettes.

Dian: One of our non-Muslim friends gave us the devotional book, Our Daily Bread. We couldn’t go to Sunday school, so the book was like our Sunday school teacher.

Budi: We shared Jesus with our friends. They said, “You are crazy.”

Felipe: Instead of going to the mosque, we would go play in the river. [A mosque is a Muslim place of worship.]

[The police did not bother the three bold friends until they were adults.]

Dian: Twenty-four policemen came and took us to their building. They put us in different rooms and questioned us. We spent several hours explaining the Bible to them.

Budi: Our government says there is freedom of religion in Malaysia. Yes, there is freedom of religion. But it is among non-Malays. Malaysia even blocks Christian broadcasts coming in on satellite, but they cannot block Jesus.

Dian: In almost 20 years, our church has grown from three to seven or eight. But Zechariah 4:8 says not to despise small beginnings. Jesus said, “When two or three are gathered, I will be in their midst.” We always stand on the gospel. We are not moved by man or his words. Remember that no matter how hot the fire is around you, it cannot burn out the fire within you.

To Think About or Discuss:

  • What did Dian mean when he said, “Remember that no matter how hot the fire is around you, it cannot burn out the fire within you”?
  • Would you continue going to church if your church had only three members?

To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this Web site and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.



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