Malaysia: Why My People need the Gospel
KL Ng | JUNE 10, 2019 | 2 MIN READ
During June, SOLA will be publishing a series, “Why My People Need the Gospel” to highlight the global need for the good news of Jesus Christ.
To pray for God's kingdom work more effectively, we must learn about those we are praying for so that we can pray more specifically. Therefore we will be publishing short guides written by people of those countries and cultures so we can exhort the body to pray for all nations.
We hope this series will encourage and challenge you to pray globally for all nations to be united under the rule of Christ.
Malaysia is a country in southeast Asia that borders Thailand and also has maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Based on a 2010 census, about 61% of the population is Muslim, with 9% identifying as Christian.
KL Ng (name protected for safety) shares these words about his country and how we can pray for the people in Malaysia.
SOLA: What are some of the major political struggles of Malaysia?
KL: In May 2018, Malaysia saw a new coalition government take over for the first time since independence in 1957. A few major areas of concern are: attempts to destabilize the government, the current prosecution of past misdeeds, investors not having much confidence and taking a wait-and-see attitude, citizens getting impatient, and cost of living continues to rise. In addition, religious freedom accorded by the Federal Constitution may be undermined by State laws, which were enacted by the old government. Finally, national Islamization programs are still implemented with renewed focus on East Malaysian natives.
SOLA: What are some of the major cultural struggles of the Malaysians?
KL: The harmony of various cultures have been seriously damaged by the past government and the new government is trying to fix it. Much of the struggles have to do with the implementation of national Islamization programs, which show voters as well as Middle East supporters that although Malaysia is a multi-religious country, Islam is still primary. There is also a need to help the poor and the many natives who are susceptible to religious conversions.
SOLA: What are some of the biggest barriers to Christianity for Malaysia?
The primary challenge is that the foundational understanding of the Bible by most Christians is lacking, with much focus on experiential, entertainment, and fun to keep the crowd interested.
Although there are prohibitive laws on evangelism towards Muslims, it does not present itself as a major barrier towards Christianity yet.
There are organized and funded Islam dakwah (missionary efforts) in cities directed towards converting Christians, which is possibly being assisted by the work Zakir Nalik, a popular Indian national, English-speaking Islam apologist.
Political parties making a caricature of Christianity as a threat to instill fear in their voter base, which is majority Muslim.
While large Christian churches have no financial challenges, the majority of smaller churches, with insufficient monthly contributions to sustain for the long term or unable to do more than basic pastoral work.
SOLA: How can we pray for Malaysia?
Pray for the raising up of more faithful and wise leaders, evangelists, and Bible teachers, as well as more younger pastors to support their aging senior pastors of many churches. The Malaysian culture is not lending to encouraging young people to go into full-time ministry.
Pray for strength and wisdom for pastors, church planters, evangelists and teachers to do more.
Pray for the new government to have more compassion to churches in any legal and administrative issues and continue to uphold the freedom of religion.
Pray for more effective foundational Bible teachings to all Christians in the country in their own languages.
KL Ng attends Assembly of Christians in Kuala Lumpur.