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Region East and Southeast Asia
Leader King Muhammad V
Population 31 164 000
Christian 9.2%
Main Religion Islam
Government Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Rank 23
Score 65
Previous Rank 31
Previous Score 60

“Obedience is better than sacrifice. When we obey God, even in persecution, we can totally depend on Him to get us through.”

Malaysia’s government is increasingly relying on Islamic conservatism to stay in power. Half the population is ethnically Malay and considered Muslim. The other half is Chinese, indigenous or Indian. Most Christians belong to one of these three minorities. The Malay majority is clearly favoured by the government and the minorities are discriminated against. Christian converts from a Muslim background suffer the most persecution. Converts may be abducted without a trace and can be put under house arrest. They must gather secretly in homes.

Malaysia’s government sponsors Muslim missions. Christian evangelism is prohibited. The effort to introduce sharia (Islamic) penal law in the federal state shows a growing conservatism. Muslim converts to Christianity are considered apostate. If discovered, they may be sent to an Islamic purification centre. Where extreme pressure, including mental and physical abuse, may be used to force them to return to Islam.

Christians are monitored by state authorities, local Muslim communities, and Islamic rights groups. Openly bringing Malay converts to church is impossible. All printing of Christian materials requires permission from the government. Importing the Bible and Christian books are banned.

Given the increasing restrictions placed by the Malaysian government and society 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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