Christian groups demand proof of converting Muslims using aid

(The Malaysian Insider) – Christian groups are calling for evidence behind two Malay dailies’ allegations that they are trying to convert Muslims through welfare aid.

Berita Harian and Harian Metro reported today that certain Christian organisations were hiding behind the guise of welfare aid by offering monthly cash allowances of at least RM1,000 to hard-hit Muslims and their families in an attempt to turn them into Christians.

The pro-Barisan Nasional newspapers’ allegations came after the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and the police raided a multiracial dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya last Wednesday night, based on a report that the Christian-majority crowd was allegedly proselytising to Muslim guests.

“If you’re saying that Christians give RM5,000, now you convert, show the proof,” Council of Churches of Malaysia general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri (picture) told The Malaysian Insider today.

“By making this statement, they’re trying to disrupt the good relations between the religious communities in the country by taking on the Christians,” he said.

Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia recently accused Christians of plotting to take over the government and claimed that the July 9 Bersih rally was funded by Christian organisations.

The controversial Jais raid has increased religious tension in the country, where churches were fire-bombed last year and Christians were barred from referring to their god as “Allah”.

Shastri pointed out that Muslims also did welfare work.

“As a result, some are being converted to Islam because they see the good work of the Muslims,” he said.

“If a person gives RM10,000 and you convert, that’s wrong. But if person is often in a home, then leaves the home, is impressed by Catholic sisters and becomes Catholic, what’s wrong with that?” asked the pastor.