Sunday, June 18, 2017

NECF is appalled by unconstitutional call from Centhra

The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) is appalled at the suggestion by the Centre of Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) CEO Azril Mohd Amin to outlaw Christian evangelicalism in Malaysia, because it is a “dangerous movement”, without producing any supporting evidence.

The call on the government to set up “anti evangelicalism laws” like that of the Yarovaya Act by Russia against evangelicalism to curb religious extremism and terrorism is uncalled for and extremely provocative.

The reports of both local and international media on extremism and terrorism do not name the involvement of Malaysian evangelical Christians in such activities.

Azril’s essay is irresponsible and seditious. The essay has the tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility against evangelical Christians. It is extremely disconcerting that these radical and extreme views are published by Utusan Malaysia, a national newspaper.

Christianity is based on love; its followers are commanded to love and forgive those who offend them. This is what they are taught to share and live by. To attack Christians in this manner violates basic human rights and the protections guaranteed under our Federal Constitution.

Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution clearly provides that every person has a right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Article 11(4), to propagate it.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Malaysia is a signatory, clearly mandates the universal protection of the fundamental human right of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

We call upon the police to take action against the writer and newspaper concerned under the Sedition Act and Penal Code for uttering and publishing words which tend to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between people of different religions.

We also call on the prime minister to ensure that the rights of every citizen of this country, as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution regardless of their religious persuasion, be protected, upheld and enforced.

We call upon the prime minister and every member of the government to speak up and keep the oath of office that they have taken and to uphold the fundamental rights of all citizens, including the minority Christians in this country by condemning such statements made and published by persons which are harmful to the peace, harmony and goodwill enjoyed in Malaysia.

REV DR EU HONG SENG is chairperson of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship.

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