KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Evangelical Christians are using high-tech devices such as solar-powered talking bibles to proselytize to Malay Muslims in Selangor, state lawmaker Datuk Hasan Ali said today.
Hasan, who is in charge of the state’s Islamic affairs portfolio, said the state’s religious authority (Jais) had discovered that Christian missionaries were now spreading their gospel through technologically-advanced means apart from setting up welfare groups providing cash and other financial aid to single mothers and the destitute.
He added that Jais’s research showed Christian evangelists were spreading their faith to young Muslim students in free tuition classes and counselling sessions, besides distributing Christian pamphlets in public places, homes, universities and places that were ostensibly called “community centres” to carry out their evangelical work.
The ex-PAS state commissioner disclosed this in a written reply to a question from Umno-Sungai Burong assemblyman Datuk Mohd Shamsudin Lias.
According to a website called Book of Joe, the palm-sized radio-like device contains all the books in the New and Old Testaments and is fitted with batteries that will run for almost 10 hours before needing to be recharged, whether by the sun, a light bulb or a nine-volt AC adapter. It costs only US$99.95 (RM310).
This latest disclosure, after a controversial August 3 raid by Selangor Islamic authorities on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in Petaling Jaya, could trigger another Christian-Muslim conflict.
Christian leaders have consistently denied claims that they are attempting to convert Muslims, but relations between the two creeds with roots in the Middle East continue to smoulder in multi-religious, multi-cultural Malaysia where the religion of the federation is Islam as stated in the Federal Constitution.
Hasan said Jais is working to counter Christian proselytism of Muslims by holding sessions to clarify Islamic doctrine and its laws.
The lawmaker said Jais is also seeking to strengthen the enforcement of the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988 as well as the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1995.