Arab Christians express concern about Malaysian Bible row
By Clara Chooi
March 14, 2011
PETALING JAYA, March 14 — The lengthy row over Bahasa Malaysia Bibles and the “Allah” controversy has sparked off international concern among the Arab Christian community, triggering them to urge the Najib administraton for a quick resolution to the issues.
Religious leaders from the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), led by its president, Bishop Munib A. Younan, met with unity affairs minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon last Thursday, where both issues were discussed extensively.
Younan also urged Koh to initiate the release of the 35,000 Malay-language Bibles currently held by the government in two separate ports in the country.
In the discussion, Younan had also told Koh that the tussle over the word “Allah” between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities here has baffled the Christians of the Arab world who have been using the word for over 2,000 years.
“Something we cannot understand in the Arab world and the whole world is when Malaysia prohibits Malaysian Christians from using the name of Allah because we have used it for 2,000 years and until this moment, no one has stopped us.
“If we, the Arab Christians are using it in the heart of the Muslim and Arab world, then why can’t the Malaysian Christians use it?” Younan told reporters in Armada Hotel here yesterday.