malaysia, the land of the insecure people
Surprise surprise! It would seem that the largest church in Southeast Asia now is no longer in either Singapore or the Philipines or even Indonesia but rather in Malaysia, a small little country where the majority of the population are forced to embrace Islam since birth and not allowed to leave the religion for life. Which is why it's surprising because given how the top "Muslim" officials act, I would never come to think that they would accept the plans for the building of such a huge church in the first place, given how I used to hear stories of how hard it is to get a permit to build a religious building other than a mosque in Malaysia.
Perhaps the officials must have thought that the design of the building doesn't look much like a church and decided that it was a shopping center instead, which is why they approved the plans in the first place. Always a good habit to read the proposal first before signing it, I guess. Or it could be the officials have more sinister motives like wanting to use the church as a symbol to unite the Malays or something like that because honestly, I sincerely wouldn't think that the building of such large church would be approved without any complications. Or there could be corruption, but lets leave it here, shall we.
Edit: I found out later that the reason could be closer to the fact that BN wanted to give it as an election gift to Malaysians because according to the church's website, the plans were approved in 2005, 1 year directly after winning in a landslide in the general election.
|Source: The Malaysian Insider|
But went up the church did and true to Malaysian spirit, there are already groups of Malays who are concerned that the presence of such a building would undermine the position of Islam in the country and would cause Muslims to convert into Christianity. I mean seriously? Again?
If you ask me, I think that the world's most insecure Muslims can be easily found in Malaysia. After all, everything that the Christians do, for example using Allah in their Malay Bibles for the Orang Asli (who are not Malays nor Muslims), singing hymns outside of church and now building the biggest church in Asia would cause an average Muslim to lose faith in his God. I never knew looking at a building could cause you to question your faith. If that's the case, you would see non-Muslim Malaysians converting into Islam in droves now because of the ease we can find Muslim related things in our daily lives. The early morning Azan prayers for example, our state song for example (Perak) and even our history textbooks. But you don't, because switching something you belief in is never easy.
In addition to that, take a look at Indonesia. Being the most populous Muslim country in Southeast Asia, you don't see them worrying constantly about people converting out of Islam. In fact, they don't even have the mandatory you-must-stay-in-Islam law there and still there's no problem. Even in Singapore there isn't such a law and still you don't see such a problem. Heck even in Malaysia Christians are still having trouble converting the rest of the population who are not Malays into Christianity. I mean have you even tried talking to a random non-Christian Chinese/Indian and ask them to go to church and accept Jesus Christ before?
I really do not want to bash up any religions here but sometimes I just couldn't help it when I see how stupid some "religious" people can act sometimes, especially when they are supposed to be more enlightened than the rest of the population. I guess religious zealousness doesn't really equate wisdom (perhaps that's why Solomon strayed from God in the end when he obtained wisdom) and I guess it all boils down to politics and group dynamics at play. To avoid increasing my risk of getting arrested when I get back to Malaysia, I think I shall stop elaborating but to be honest, sometimes I wished all these "Muslims" would just stop politicking these issues just in order to maintain power, to gain attention or just to rile up support. It's disgusting, especially when you're using the name of religion.