By Ng Kam Weng
This is the worst nightmare experienced by people who paid ransom to kidnappers only to find their loved ones returned to them executed.
“Oh No! They desecrated our beloved Holy Bibles.”
This is the heart wrenching experience of Publish PostMalaysian Christians who found their Holy Bibles returned to them defaced and desecrated. Malaysian Christians have earlier out of courtesy and grace agreed with the government to print the Alkitab (Malay Bible) with the symbol of the cross on the front cover along with the caption “A Christian Publication” [ The claim by the Minister of Home Affairs that Christians have earlier agreed to have the phrase, "For Christins only" stamped on the Alkitab is a lie. There was no such agreement. His statement, "We stamped the Bible based on amalan (practice) before… during Abdullah Badawi and even Tun Dr Mahathir’s time,” is also a lie].
Nevertheless, the authorities proceeded to detain 5000 copies of the Alkitab for the last two years.
Malaysian Christians waited with guarded optimism when the government recently announced that it will release the Alkitab that have been confiscated but to their horror they were suddenly informed that the authorities have hurriedly and unilaterally stamped all the Alkitab with an ugly notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs. See picture below.
The English translation reads: Reminder: This ‘Al Kitab Berita Baik’ is for the use of Christians only. By order of the Home Minister.”
Notice the official chop/stamp (Bottom Left) and the serial number that is to be imprinted onto the Bible (Upper Right).
The defaced Bible is now imprinted with a serial number, obviously to facilitate the authorities threatening to track every copy of the Alkitab used by the community.
Christians are horrified by the arrogance of the officials. The contemptuous act of defacing the Alkitab is nothing less than sacrilege.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia rightly expressed that they felt “deeply hurt”. I think it is being polite. “Outrage” would have been a more appropriate word.
I think the only proper thing for the government to do is to make immediate amends: Apologize for its callous act. Return the Alkitab back to the publisher and replace them with new Alkitab. Under no circumstances should these defaced Alkitab be destroyed – that would be another act of desecration. The government should bear all costs and give written assurance that such desecration will never happen again.
O God, your Holy Scripture has been desecrated, your name and reputation defiled! When will you rise up and judge all these arrogant offenders for their blatant act of sacrilege?
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