Tele-evangelical style conversion before masses should not be encouraged


We do not want to see children converted by the spur of a moment but later cannot renounce or revert to their own religion. Religion is a very personal and profound subject that should not be hyped up as it may provoke anger, tension or suspicion among Malaysians.

Ti Lian Ker, The Malay Mail Online

Malaysia is a multiracial, multi-religious society built on mutual respect emphasising on the good practices to promote multiracial and multi-religious harmony via tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

We must be mindful of Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which reads that “Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.”

In recognising the Constitutional provisions via Article 11(4) providing that “ … federal  law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam,”  we must similarly accord respect to others in the spirit of our Federal Constitution with regard to other religion.

Safeguards against proselytisation should go two-ways

While non-Muslims respect the safeguards against proselytisation to Muslims as provided for in the Federal Constitution, there should be a reciprocal restraint of any form or practice of hyped-up public conversion whereby individuals who are young and impressionable or adults who are seeking or need emotional relief may be encouraged or maybe lured by the euphoric crowds or under sheer emotional pressure to convert. This practice maybe provocative, invoke resentment hatred or suspicions of the manner of which impressionable youngsters were converted; and is contrary to the spirit and intentions of our Federal Constitution whose emphasis is to promote a harmonious society.

Going against the very grain of our Federal Constitution that is built on mutual respect, promoting tolerance and mindful of each other’s sensitivities is unhealthy, detrimental and a threat to the peace and harmony of our nation.

Isolated or individual instances of high profile conversions of young adults or youngsters before huge  masses is equivalent to tele-evangelisation whereby the environment or atmosphere may encourage some to embrace or accept a particular religion at the spur of the moment. Such practices should be refrained or even disallowed as religion is a serious matter and sensitive to our multi-religious society.

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