Freedom to Choose Religion in Malaysia may be in Jeopardy.
Born in Sarawak, Malaysia, Rooney Rebit was forced to convert to Islam at the age of eight, a decision made by his parents. Now, at 41, he has been granted the ability to legally change his religion to Christian.
However, as momentous as this moment is, it looks like the change may soon be reversed again.
On April 22nd, the National Registration Department (NDR) in Malaysia filed an appeal against the decision allowing Rebit to change his religion. According to a constitutional rights lawyer, “Judges are abdicating their role to protect the freedom of religion in the Constitution. Every religious rights case, like the Allah case (where Christian weren’t allowed to use the word ‘God’ in publications), gets overturned in the highest courts (of Malaysia).”
Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that currently permits anyone to convert from Islam. If the court decides to reverse Rebit’s case, they will, essentially, be outlawing anyone in Malaysia from converting to Christianity.
- Pray for this case, for the court to rule in favour of, and continue to allow, Rebit’s conversion to Christianity.
- Pray for believers in Malaysia, as they seek to stand strong in spite of increasing religious restrictions. Many of them are unaware of the government’s attempts to disallow their conversion to Christianity.
- Pray for the Church in Malaysia, to be strong in faith, discipleship and encouragement, especially of new Muslim Background Believers.
- Pray for the region of Sarawak as it elects a new state government today, May 7th. Pray for discernment and sound judgement for people as they vote, and for a government that will allow freedom of belief for Christians, and the right to choose to be Christian.
Romans 8 vs 35 and 37: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”