Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Malaysia's Federal Court Says Conversions To Christianity Are For Sharia Courts

In Malaysia last week, the Malaysian Federal Court dismissed appeals by four women who seek to have their names and religious affiliation changed on their national identity cards-- from Muslim to Christian.  Three of the women were originally Christians, but embraced Islam when they married Muslim men.  Now they are divorced and wish to re-embrace Christianity.  The fourth woman is a convert from Islam to Christianity. According to World Watch Monitor, the country's highest civil court held that jurisdiction over these cases is only in the Syariah Courts, even though the Sarawak Shariah Court Ordinance 2001 has no provision for leaving Islam.  CBNNews yesterday further explained the implications of this holding:
In the past, Sharia courts have not allowed conversion from the Islamic faith.
Christian groups said they'll request Sarawak legislators to amend state law to allow conversion. In response, several Islamic groups said they plan to counter Christian conversion efforts by sending more Muslims into the state.
Located in Malaysia's east, Sarawak is about 40 percent Christian. Most Christians are Chinese ethnics. Overall, Christians are about nine percent of the Malaysia population while Muslims are about 61 percent. Leaving Islam is unthinkable for most ethnic Malays who believe to be Malay is to be Muslim.