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Get Malaysian Police permission to sing carols * Thousands protest Paki shoes bearing cross

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Asia, Malaysia, newsletter-asia, Persecution

MalayMalaysia, December 16, 2011: Two churches in Klang, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, have received a note on behalf of the police asking for names and details of people singing Christmas carols because, according to officials, authorization of the police is required to be able to sing carols in churches and homes.

As local sources of Fides in the Christian community note, believers define such claims as “absurd and unacceptable”. Jesuit Father Lawrence Andrew, Director of the diocesan weekly “Herald” explains to Fides: “It is a strict interpretation regarding existing rules on the exercise of activities of worship and freedom of religion. The police are in total confusion. After protests carried out by Christians, government representatives have denied the need for such authorizations”.

In a note sent to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Paul Tan Chee Ing, Bishop of Melaka-Johor and President of the Episcopal Conference, said that such restrictions would make the country “almost a police state”, if the police continue to claim “these bureaucratic requirements”.

Fides sources see political and electoral reasons behind episodes of this kind.

– agenzia fides

Thousands protest Paki shoes bearing cross

 

Thousands Protest Paki ShoeLebanon, December 16, 2011: More than three thousand angry Christians held a protest rally in Lahore on Thursday condemning sale of shoes incorporating Christian crosses.

Some Muslim leaders joined the protestors, who were wearing black armbands and headbands. Chanting anti government slogans, they burned tires on the road.

The protest ended after pastors led hymn singing.

“This is no drama. Our Christian identity has been insulted as Christmas approaches”, said Pastor Samuel King, president of the Pakistan Minorities Movement (PMM).

The group had previously confiscated 1,200 pairs of shoes, inscribed with a cross and Christmas symbols, from a shop. Its owner was arrested on November 26 but freed by police after three days.

Gulzar Nqavi, a Shia Muslim who joined the protestors, condemned the indifference of the authorities. “Many Christians visit Muslim shrines; they also hang posters of Nalain Pak (sandals of the Prophet Mohammad) in their houses”, he said.

The PMM also issued a press statement demanding the re-arrest of the shopkeeper and announced a continued movement in absence of any action.

Kanwal Feroz, chief editor of a Christian monthly, also demanded action for blasphemy. “Deliberate or not; this action has hurt the minority community which severely bore the burnt of the blasphemy laws”, he said.

Christians say implementation of Islamic laws of apostasy and blasphemy in the constitution has victimized minorities on basis of business rivalry and personal grudges. However, debate against the controversial laws ended this year after the murder of the Catholic federal minister of minorities.

– ucan

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