» 07/08/2010, 00.00
Three young Muslim men on trial for attack on Kuala Lumpur church
An explosion and subsequent fire destroyed the Metro Tabernacle Church. Other churches, including the Catholic Church of the Assumption affected. Episodes date to January, after the High Court decision allowing the use of the word "Allah" even to define the Christian God.
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The trial of three young Muslim men accused of having bombed and set fire to of Metro Tabernacle Church in the capital in January is in its second day.
On the night between 7 and 8 January, an explosion damaged the administrative offices of Metro Tabernacle Church. Soon after, three other Christian places of worship, including the Catholic Church of the Assumption in Petaling Jaya, were attacked (see Malaysia: Four Christian churches attacked over controversy on the use of "Allah")
Several other incidents against places of worship followed; 7 churches, a Sikh temple, two mosques and three Islamic places of worship. The incidents seem to have been provoked by the country's High Court decision to allow a Catholic newspaper use of the word "Allah" to refer to the Christian God.
Two of the defendants, and Raja Muhd Faizal and Raja Muhd Idzham, are brothers and the third, Azuwan Sahah Ahmad is a friend. They were arrested after one of them turned up at the ER for treatment of some severe burns. Their lawyer claims they are innocent.
If convicted, the three face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The prosecutor has prepared 25 witnesses, including several policemen, a fireman and eyewitnesses, who saw a group of youths on a motorbike arriving at the Metro Tabernacle Church minutes before the explosion and fire. Two days ago, six witnesses were heard, yesterday three others, including the doctor who treated one of the accused.
Malaysia: Christians can not use "Allah" to define God
Prominent Muslim religious figure intimates that the use of the word "Allah" for God has to stop because it can arouse the wrath of the Islamic community. The attack comes only days after Pope Benedict XVI received the Malaysian Premier to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
Malaysia , Christians banned from using "Allah ". Catholics announce appeal
This morning the appeals court ruled that the word be “exclusively" used by Muslims . The director of "Malaysia Herald", Fr. Lawrence, expresses " disappointment and shock " and announces appeal to the Federal Court to seek redress. Minister of the State of Sarawak (Borneo ) states : Here Christians can continue to use the word Allah.
Malaysia: Four Christian churches attacked over controversy on the use of "Allah"
Three Protestant places of worship, and one Catholic in the sights of Islamic fundamentalists. The offices of Metro Tabernacle Church damaged. Cars owned by Catholics vandalised. The director of the Catholic weekly Herald confirms "pressure" on government and judiciary to "cancel the Supreme Court ruling."
Kuala Lumpur: 8 young men arrested for attack on a church
They are suspected of having caused the fire and throwing stones against the church Metro Tabernacle, of the Assembly of God. Police are investigating their links with the other 10 attacks on places of worship, after the controversy on even Christians being allowed to use of the word Allah. The political exploitation of the Umno.
Nine Christians arrested accused of proselytizing
Muslim students at the University Putra Malaysia (UPM) argue that the group distributed leaflets about Christianity. The story seems linked to the controversy regarding an article by two Muslims journalists who faked being Catholics and attended two masses taking communion, to see if forced conversions occur during celebrations.
CHINA – VATICAN
Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church
After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.
INDIA – PHILIPPINES
Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist
Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."
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