Monday, January 11, 2010

Attacks on churches in Malaysia in early 2010

January 11, 2010 14:55 PM

SIB Church In Seremban 2 Becomes Eighth Church Attacked Since Friday

SEREMBAN, Jan 11 (Bernama) -- The Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church at Lake View Square, Seremban 2, Negri Sembilan became the eighth church attacked when scorch marks were found on its main entrance door.

The attack, the first in Negeri Sembilan and discovered this morning, however did not affect the church interior and was believed to have occurred early Monday morning.

Negeri Sembilan deputy police chief Datuk Abd Manan Mhd Hassan said police were informed of the incident by a man who found the main door of the church with burn marks at about 8.30am.

"A team of police officers, together with the forensic unit and the Fire and Rescue Department went to inspect the incident and found the front entrance door damaged.

"We believe assailants used petrol to set fire to the door but fortunately the fire did not spread," he told reporters at the scene of the incident.

He said police believe the incident took place between 1.30am and 8.30am because a police unit had patrolled the area at 1.30am and found everything in order.

He added that he had directed all police patrol cars and all police officers on duty to monitor places of worship, especially mosques and churches, to ensure their safety.

"I urge the people to stop such activities. Do not do anything that can disrupt peace and harmony of the country. We will take stern action against those found responsible," he said.

Meanwhile, the priest of the church, Eddy Marson Yasir, 33, said he was the last one to leave the church after a meeting at 11.30pm Sunday night.

"I was shocked when a church member informed me of the fire this morning. The church has been in existence in Seremban for the past 10 years," he said.

A church member V. Jashua, 49, said he was having breakfast in the area when he noticed a man standing in front of the church.

"When I went to investigate, the man told me that the front door of the church was burnt," he said.

Four churches in the Klang Valley were hit by petrol bombs on Friday while one was hit yesterday in Taiping. A Malacca church reported it was splashed with black paint while a priest in Penang had his car splashed with red paint.

Yesterday, a convent school in Taiping was also the target of an attempt with petrol bombs found near its guardhouse overnight while a stone was thrown at a church in Miri.

The church attacks followed a High Court ruling on Dec 31, that Catholic weekly Herald had the constitutional rights to use the word 'Allah' to describe the Christian God in their Bahasa Malaysia section.

-- BERNAMA

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