25 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/07/2014
MALAYSIA - ISLAM
Unknown vandals desecrate eight graves in a Christian cemetery in Kuantan
A cemetery worker made the discovery this morning. Some gravestones were destroyed, crosses were broken, and stone pieces smashed. At present, nothing is known about those responsible for the incident, which could be connected to a spate of recent church attacks. Sources tell AsiaNews that the goal now is to contain tensions and restore calm.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) - Person or persons unknown desecrated eight gravestones in a Christian cemetery in Tanjung Api, near Kuantan, capital of Kuantan District, in Malaysia's Pahang State.

The attack was discovered this morning, when a cemetery employee found some damaged graves (pictured).

It is likely to fuel sectarian tensions in the Asian country, where Catholics and Muslims are already at loggerheads over the use of the word Allah for the Christian God, something that is currently before the courts.

Local witnesses said that some gravestones were completely smashed, and some crosses were broken. Flowerpots and other stone markers were also broken. It seems that perpetrators used a heavy tool to do the damage.

A cemetery administrator, who reported the incident to the police, now hopes the vandals will be brought to justice.

Tanjung Api cemetery covers an area of ​​1.5 acres state land and has been used by 36 Christian communities in Kuantan since 1997.

Although there is no actual evidence, sources told AsiaNews that the incident is probably linked to anti-Church banners and firebombs in late January.

"The area is accessible to everyone, all day, through a small door," said Kuantan Tanjung Api Christian Cemetery Committee chairperson Datuk Jack How. "In all these years, we have never had any problems of this kind. Our guess is this occurred recently."

The cemetery attack is the latest in a series of incidents against the Catholic community in Malaysia, where religious tensions have been on the rise.

Tensions are due to a confrontation between a Catholic weekly, the Malaysia Herald, its director Fr Andrew Lawrence, and the government over the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims.

In October, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Catholic weekly could not use the word Allah for the Christian God. The paper's director appealed the decision, and a hearing is scheduled for 5 March.

 "The priority today is to contain tensions," said local senior Church leaders, who asked to remain anonymous. Things should become calm and quiet again, they insisted. "There is still much to do," they added, given how delicate the situation is.

On the one hand, the goal is to protect the rights of the minority in court; on the other hand, everyone wants peaceful coexistence between the country's various ethnic groups.

The nation of over 28 million people has a Muslim majority (60 per cent). Christians are the third largest religious group after Buddhists, with more than 2.6 million members

A Malay-Latin dictionary published 400 years ago shows that the term 'Allah' was used in the local language to refer to the Biblical God centuries ago.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/08/2010 MALAYSIA
Malaysia: Four Christian churches attacked over controversy on the use of "Allah"
03/21/2013 NEPAL
Govt sets up special commission for Christian cemeteries
by Kalpit Parajuli
07/12/2014 MALAYSIA
For Sepang Muslim MP, Catholic rights violated in Allah controversy
01/09/2014 MALAYSIA
The 'Allah' affair: Police interrogates Fr Lawrence, turns evidence over to prosecutor
09/02/2011 MALAYSIA
Malaysians unhappy with the government, politicians using religion for electoral purposes

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.