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Malaysia: Youth Struggle to Follow Jesus

Malaysia

Some youth in Malaysia have given their lives to Jesus! But Malays are expected to be Muslims. New Christians face struggles with their families, friends, and authorities.

Yusoff, a Malay Christian said: “At 16, I no longer wanted to be a Muslim. There were too many rules, like praying five times a day and fasting, and so on. To me, Allah was like a school principal or a policeman who would write down all the bad things you do. I couldn’t really talk to him or relate to him. The Christians I knew would really talk to God and come to Him with their problems.

My father is a Muslim religious teacher. He was upset when I became a Christian, but not as upset as my mother. I live on my own now, apart from my parents.

My friends split into three groups. Some of them accept me as a Christian. Others are against me now. The rest try to convert me back to Islam.”

Salmiah, a Malay Christian said: “I never met a Christian when I was growing up. I only heard rumors about Christians from my father and my Muslim friends. They told me lies. They said, ‘Christians are bad people. They will kidnap you.’

I got a Bible from a friend. But my parents ripped it away from me and burned it. They kept food from me and would not allow me to talk to anyone. I ran away, and now I am a Christian. I still must hide from my family.”

Maria
Maria, a teenage Malay Muslim, began studying different religions. At 18 she became a Christian. She did not even tell her family about her new life in Christ.

Maria secretly talked to a news reporter from a cell phone in her car. The reporter was from the BBC News in Great Britain. Maria told the reporter about her struggles.

Maria’s church is scared that they might get in trouble for allowing her to come to church. They asked her to sign a statement. The statement said that the church had nothing to do with Maria’s decision to become a Christian. “If the authorities come, they are not going to stand up for me,” Maria said of her church. “I have to stand up for myself.”

Maria wants to marry her Christian boyfriend. But her identity card says she is a Muslim. A Muslim woman in Malaysia cannot marry a Christian man. The only way she could marry her boyfriend is if he became a Muslim. But he doesn’t want to do that, and Maria doesn’t want him to either.

(Source: BBC News)

Salmiah, the new Christian who is hiding from her family, said, “My heart is very sad that I cannot be with my family or share Jesus with them.” Please pray for Malay Christians. Ask God to comfort them when they are lonely for their friends and family. Pray that more and more Malays will learn about Jesus and follow Him. Then new Malay believers can have a Christian “family” to care for them.

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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