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Malaysia: Three Bold Friends

Malaysia

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.

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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.”

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Malaysia

Malaysia

Malaysia

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Capital
Kuala Lumpur, where the Parliament meets, is the capital of Malaysia. (The Parliament is the group of officials who are responsible for making the laws.) Government offices moved to Putrajaya in 1999. Putrajaya is the “federal administrative center.”

Size
Malaysia has two regions, West Malaysia and East Malaysia. The total area of both regions is a little greater than the area of New Mexico. Source: CIA Factbook

Main Languages
Malay, English, Chinese

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 8 p.m. in Malaysia.

Interesting Fact
Malaysians love kites. Some people use giant kites as decorations in their home.

 

History
Britain used to control Malaysia. In 1957, Malaysia became an independent nation. It included only the part of Malaysia that is on the Malaysian Peninsula. The states of Sarawak, Sabah, and Singapore joined the 11 states on the peninsula to form the Independent Federation of Malaysia in 1963. The new country’s 14 stripes and 14-pointed star stood for the 14 states.

In 1965, Singapore became a separate country. The 14 stripes and the star now stand for the 13 states and the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Religion
About half the people in Malaysia are Malay people. The government considers all Malays to be Muslims from birth. Other groups in Malaysia include people whose ancestors came from China and India, as well as native tribal groups. People who are not Malay are allowed to follow religions other than Islam. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)

Persecution
Changing to another religion is strongly discouraged.  It is against the law for anyone to share the truth of Jesus with a Malay person.