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Sunday January 5, 2014 MYT 11:05:00 AM
Sunday January 5, 2014 MYT 3:26:08 PM
by austin camoens AND l. suganya
KLANG: It was a peaceful Sunday morning as church goers attended mass at the Lady of Lourdes Church here.
The 8am English mass went on as usual with a higher number of parishioners attending the morning mass.
Chairs were placed outside the church to accommodate the additional parishioners.
A group of about 20 people gathered outside the church at around 8.30am to show their support to the Christian community ahead of the proposed protest against the use of the word Allah in Christian worship.
Social Activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, who was among those gathered outside the church, said that the presence of Malaysians of different religious and race to show solidarity towards the Christians showed that Malaysians are united and will resist any attempt to disunite them.
Marina who is also National Unity Consultative Council member said she thinks Malaysians are beyond this.
"We will continue resisting any attempt to disunite us," she said.
Marina also questioned the absence of the country's leadership at such a time.
"They (the people in authority) have been letting it happen.
"They should really speak up. Our leadership should not be silent.
"Everyone has been complaining that the silence is deafening. It's far from elegant," she said.
The police also made their presence felt with about 10 plain clothes policemen placed outside the church to maintain order.
About a kilometre from the church, a group of about 100 protestors gathered at the Stadium Sultan Sulaiman to voice their dissatisfaction with Catholic priest and editor of The Herald weekly Father Lawrence Andrew, who had reportedly said that churches in Selangor would continue to use the word 'Allah' in reference to God in their weekend services.
His remark sparked protests from several Muslim non-governmental bodies, including Selangor Umno members.
The issue came to the fore after the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) officers raided and seized 351 copies of Bahasa Malaysia and Iban language versions of the Bible which contained the word 'Allah' from the Bible Society of Malaysia on Thursday.
Jais had earlier reminded all churches in Selangor to comply with the prohibition on the use of the word 'Allah' as provided for under the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.
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