Friday, March 25, 2016

Malaysian Civil Court Orders Recognition of Conversion Back To Christianity

In what the Borneo Post describes as a landmark case, a High Court judge in the Malaysian state of Sarawak has ordered the National Religion Department (NRD) to change a man's registration from Muslim to Christian and also to recognize his name change. The Star describes the decision in more detail. The man had been born into a Christian family, but the family converted to Islam when he was 8.  The court said in part:
His conversion to the Muslim faith was not of his own volition but by virtue of his parents’ conversion when he was a minor.
He is not challenging the validity of his conversion as a minor. But having become a major, he is free to exercise his right of freedom to religion and he chose Christianity.
The NRD had insisted on a letter of release from a Syariah Court, but the High Court concluded that the man's constitutionally protected religious freedom rights entitled him to obtain relief from a civil court.