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Region   Asia
Population   32 869 000
Christian Population   2 991 000 (9.7%)
Main Religion   Islam
2021 Ranking   46
2020 Ranking   40


In Malaysia, the government and religious groups monitor churches and it is illegal to share the Gospel with Malay Muslims. Converts from Islam to Christianity experience the most persecution, as every ethnic Malay is expected to be Muslim. These believers are often forced to hide their faith and meet in secret. If discovered, they could face divorce from their spouse, rejection from their family—or even risk being sent to a re-education camp.

This is why pressure is most extreme in the family and community life spheres for Malay believers. Whoever leaves Islam is not just going against Malaysia’s constitution, but also against society at large—pitting believers against their own family members and neighbours.

However, apart from the abduction of certain Christians in recent years, persecution has rarely been violent in Malaysia. Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth have been missing for more than three years now, after they disappeared from their home. Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted while driving on a busy road in the city of Petaling Jaya and has been missing since February 2017. His whereabouts are still unknown, and according to the findings of the country’s human rights commission, Malaysia’s Special Branch of the police was involved in the abduction.

Meet Aina*

“I ask those who have been praying for Malaysia from all around the world to pray for Malaysia to be able to come to the Gospel. The Malaysian citizens are like slaves. With the light of the Lord, they would be freed.”

*Name changed for security reasons


Pray for Malaysia

  • Pray for believers who seek to meet in secret. Ask God to give them meaningful times of worship and fellowship—along with the protection they need to gather safely.
  • Pray for religious freedom across Malaysia. Today, it is illegal to share the gospel with Malay Muslims—and it is also unlawful for Malay Muslims to leave Islam for Christianity.
  • Pray for Malay believers who have left Islam and are often isolated and cut off from their family members for embracing Jesus. Ask God to give them special grace and that they would know and feel they are never alone.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Malaysia?

Given the increasing restrictions that the Malaysian government and society places upon the local churches and new believers, Open Doors calls for prayers from Christians, worldwide. Prayers are especially needed for new believers who are thirsty for spiritual nourishment and fellowship.

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