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Sarawak churches welcome return of seized bibles

PETALING JAYA: The Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) has welcomed the return of the 321 bibles seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia’s (BSM) Petaling Jaya premises in January.

ACS chairman and the Bishop of Kuching Reverend Datuk Bolly Lapok said the bibles would now be distributed and used by the Christian community in Sarawak.

“The Selangor Sultan and ACS were keen to see an end to the impasse surrounding these bibles containing the word ‘Allah’.

“It would not have been proper to allow these bibles to be stored indefinitely or destroyed. In this manner, the bibles are being delivered to the ACS for distribution in Sarawak,” Bolly said in a statement on Friday.

Earlier, on Friday morning, Bolly received the bibles when paying a courtesy call to Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah at the Istana Alam Shah in Klang.

Also present were Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali, Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) officials and leaders from the Christian community.

He thanked the Sultan for his intervention in the matter, and said he hoped the compromise shown in this resolution would be seen as a step towards enhancing interfaith understanding and harmony in Malaysia.

“Let us work together to respect and celebrate the rich diversity of Malaysians in being able to set an example to the world as to how to live harmoniously together in a multi-racial society in accordance with the nation’s laws and Constitution,” he added.

The return of the bibles signal and end to the controversy which began in January, when the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raided BSM’s premises in Damansara and seized the bibles, claiming that it contravened a 1988 Selangor enactment prohibiting non-Muslims from using the word “Allah”.

-thestar

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