Finns held in Muslim Malaysia over ‘Christian pamphlets’


Majority of Malaysia’s population are Muslims. (File/AFP)

November 21, 2018

They are accused of breaking laws that forbid people from disturbing religious harmony, and could be jailed for up to five years
Issues related to race, religion and language are considered sensitive in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Four Finns have been arrested on a holiday island in Muslim-majority Malaysia for allegedly distributing pamphlets about Christianity, police said Wednesday, and may face up to five years in jail.

Religion is a deeply sensitive issue in Malaysia, where more than 60 percent of the populaton is Muslim, and critics say rising conservatism has chipped away at a traditionally tolerant brand of Islam in recent years.

Authorities detained the two men and two women on Tuesday after receiving complaints from members of the public that they were handing out Christian materials on the popular resort island of Langkawi, said local police chief Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim.

“Police have arrested four Finnish nationals in Langkawi for allegedly distributing religious material in a public place,” he told AFP.
“They were distributing pamphlets related to Christianity.”

The Finns, aged between 27 and 60, were arrested at a hotel and police seized pens, notebooks and a bag.

They are accused of breaking laws that forbid people from disturbing religious harmony. If found guilty, they could be jailed for between two and five years.

The suspects have been remanded in custody while police investigate.



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