Malaysia’s main Christian grouping on Wednesday rejected a government attempt to settle a protracted row over seized shipments of Malay-language Bibles, calling instead for the right to freely practice its religion.
A dispute over the use of the word “Allah” as a translation for God prompted custom authorities to hold 5,000 Indonesian-produced Bibles since 2009 and another 30,000 earlier this year. The government bans the use of “Allah” in non-Islamic texts, saying it could confuse majority Muslims or be used to convert them. The ban is being reviewed by a court.
The government last week offered to release the Bibles if the words “For Christianity” are stamped on them, scraping plans to put serial numbers and seals on each after Christians slammed the move as desecrating their holy book.