Priest threatened in ‘Allah’ row

Malaysian Jesuit becomes a hate figure for Muslims

A priest questioned amid an ongoing legal row over the use of the title ‘Allah’ has become a hate figure in the country.

Since he faced police interrogation on suspicion of sedition over alleged comments on the long tradition of Christians using the name of Allah in holy books, Fr Lawrence Andrew has seen his image publicly burned amid demonstrations launched by angry Muslims who insist the name must be reserved for use within Islam. The government has backed the Islamic stance, albeit under pressure to prevent an outbreak of serious violence on the issue. The Jesuit’s stance has also resulted in him receiving death threats.

Fr Andrew has now been supported by Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam of Kuala Lumpur, who penned a pastoral letter to all parishes to assert that the attacks on the priests are “tantamount to an attack against the entire Christian community”.