|Population||32 869 000|
|Christian Population||2 991 000 (9.7%)|
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.
“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
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.