A RENTLESS PURSUIT OF JUSTICE IN MALAYSIA
Approximately 27 years ago, Paulus (name changed for security reasons) left a lucrative career in the telecommunications industry to follow the Lord’s call to serve among the native tribes of west Malaysia. When Paulus began preaching the gospel among the animistic aboriginals, God performed many miraculous healings. As a result, many came to believe in Jesus Christ, and a church was established.
As the Christian community grew in numbers, Paulus built his first church building for the aboriginals in 1991 in a remote, small village. Two days later, the authorities came and demolished the building, even though he had displayed a church permit given by the land owner and village leader.
Paulus knew rebuilding the church would be costly, but asking members for money was out of the question. As targets of Islamization by the government, the aboriginals are denied special privileges which are reserved for the “sons of the land,” unless they embrace Islam. As a result, many live in poverty.
With a burden for those facing discrimination, Paulus began his journey to seek justice. Christian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) rejected him. His appeal letters to government officers and the media bore no fruits. The only publication that was willing to release his story was dissolved by the government.
“I finally wrote to the Prime Minister of Malaysia,” he says. Instead of an answer, he received a visit from officers of the Police’s Special Branch, along with threats and intimidations.
Instead of retreating, he grew bolder. He decided to sue the government for demolishing his church building. “I took the case to court with the help of a Christian lawyer,” he explains.
Paulus won the case and was rewarded with a compensation of $5,500. However, the government refused to pay. He was advised not to push for the payment. He had received what he wanted – justice.
“Since then, my every move is watched, especially when ministering to the aboriginals,” he adds.
Yet he remains faithful to God’s call. Today he has built 13 churches and is preparing 12 aboriginal Christians for full-time ministry work.
“Obedience is better than sacrifice. When we obey God, even in persecution, we can totally depend on Him to get us through,” Paulus shares.
Malaysia is ranked 37th on Open Doors’ World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.