On 7th January 2014, the Bishop of Lichfield received an answer to a written question on freedom of religion in Malaysia.
The Lord Bishop of Lichfield: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations to the government of Malaysia to help ensure that Christians in that country can continue to worship following the recent Malaysian Court of Appeal ruling that only Muslims may call God “Allah”, given that Malaysian Christians call God “Allah” in their worship and bible translations.
Baroness Warsi: We consistently underline our support for human rights, including freedom of religion, in our contacts with the Malaysian government. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials regularly raise the issue of respecting religious diversity with their Malaysian counterparts. This happened most recently on 7 November when the Acting High Commissioner discussed religious tolerance with the Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister and others following a workshop on moderation in the context of the Global Movement of Moderates, an initiative launched by Prime Minister Najib. The Malaysian government has made clear that the Appeal Court judgement relates to use of the word Allah by the Catholic Herald newspaper and does not prevent its use by Bahasa speakers in church services or in bibles. We will continue to raise freedom of expression where necessary.
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