There are about half a million Chinese evangelical Christians in Malaysia, according to the estimate by author Iain Buchanan (right).
They are very aggressive in their dakwah and have huge ambitions.
The “cells” are pervasive, and their excellent networking is a crucial factor in securing their power base despite Christians being such a (self-professed) meek and mild, teeny-weeny minority.
Chinese evangelical Christians may be fewer than Taoists and Buddhists but nonetheless they more than make up for their lack of numbers with superb organizational skills.
Buchanan notes that they successfully build coalitions comprising bible colleges, “leadership training” camps, fellowships (such as Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship), crusades (such as Awakening Malaysia or All Malaysia Convocation), conferences, corporate appointments, missionary exchanges, book and music shops, prayer networks, visiting foreign preachers, and other personal and corporate interconnections.
God’s chosen ones, just like exiled Israelites
The Chinese evangelical Christian sees himself in biblical terms as “an exile from Judah” because not only is the pendatang someone living far from his motherland but he also belongs to a persecuted group.
Methodist Bishop Hwa Yung has been quoted to say, “We may not be wanted, we may be treated like pendatang, but God has called us to be a blessing”.
“Malaysia’s Chinese evangelicals commonly evoke the tale of the Israelites in Babylon as an analogy for the Christian’s place in Malaysia,” said Buchanan in his new book Sang Nila Utama & The Lion of Judah – Dominionism and Christian Zionism in Malaysia.
(His old book is The Armies of God – A Study in Militant Christianity – right.)
The Malaysian evangelical movement is “extremely influential” and their enthusiastic churches are everywhere in our country.
BELOW: Oh, look! Hannah Yeoh is on stage at the City Harvest Church Subang Jaya
Harvest the city from the seeds they sow
City Harvest has 21 churches in Malaysia.
Calvary Church – which has the biggest church building in Southeast Asia located in Bukit Jalil, KL – is a string of 24 churches nationwide. The Full Gospel Assembly (FGA) has about a dozen churches in Penang and KL.
However, the most number of Christian Zionists can be found among the Pentecostalists, i.e. parishioners of the Assemblies of God (AOG) churches, said Buchanan.
“Especially influential are churches linked to Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation (such as Metro Tabernacle, SIB Hosanna Sibu, and Grace Assembly, which has planted 1,500 churches all told, including six in the Klang Valley) …”
The Evangelical Charismatic Churches of Malaysia network has some 100 churches, he added.
BELOW: You can see Hannah again! This time its @ Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, Subang Jaya
Pastor Daniel Ho of DUMC is a key player
The Evangelical Charismatic Churches are the backbone of the proselytization movement, with the network’s elders dominating the leadership of the clergy.
Their principal is Rev. Eu Hong Seng who founded the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, Subang Jaya – above – and where he is the chief pastor. He is also the current head of the Christian Federation of Malaysia.
Another major evangelical leader highlighted by Buchanan is Pastor Daniel Ho of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC).
Hannah Yeoh “has great respect for Ps Daniel Ho, loves his wisdom and vision for the city”
Manifest destiny in China’s millennium
According to Buchanan, the Christian Zionist agenda entails “the conversion of the Chinese, both in China and throughout the global diaspora (including Malaysia)”.
It is the Chinese who are being converted to Christianity in the largest numbers given the blue ocean of China’s multitudinous population. One of the biggest Christian conversion success stories is our neighbour Singapore.
Another benefit of having an ethnic diaspora, says the author, is that Chinese evangelicalism can stretch from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and down to Australia and New Zealand and back around the full rim of the Pacific to even Canada.
Thus the evangelistas see the Chinese as the ones “who will take the gospel back to Jerusalem and evangelize all nations on the way”. Hallelujah!
BELOW: Hannah Yeoh in DUMC; she can be spotted at every other evangelical church
Chinese, foot soldiers against Islam
“The idea of the exiled tribe is an essential part of biblical contextualization for the Chinese, and has particular relevance in the context of a global evangelical strategy which sees Chinese Christians as key operatives in such wider projects as the West’s challenge to China and containment of the Muslim world,” wrote Buchanan in his book’s Chapter Three titled ‘Chosen People and Christian Zionists’.
The objective of Christian Zionism is to make Chinese – an untapped market of one billion souls – allies in the war against Islam.
Meanwhile in our own backyard, the evangelization of the Orang Asli in West Malaysia and the tribal bumiputera of East Malaysia serves “the strategic objective of outflanking the Muslim Malays”.
“God’s chosen people face a multitude of evils”
The evangelistas view themselves as the Chosen Ones.
Beacon Presbyterian Church’s Pastor Johnson Chua had once said that as God’s chosen people, Malaysian Christians should be the “salt and light” of the nation, as enjoined in Matthew 5: 13-16.
Evangelistas see a relevance to the Chinese in the message of the Bible.
BELOW: Christian who is the ‘salt and light’ of a righteous nation
God is on their side and they shall triumph
Buchanan points out how in a similar vein, Pastor David Tan of Hope Evangelical Free Church had emphasized the duty of service through suffering for those who “have been chosen by God”.
“Basing his sermon on Peter’s letters to Christians oppressed by Nero’s tyranny, Tan stresses the inevitable triumph of ‘a people belonging to God’,” said Buchanan.
“For Malaysian Christians these are constant themes, hammered home with relentless passion by countless preachers both local and foreign: within Malaysia, God’s chosen people face a multitude of evils, demons, Goliaths, and Pharaohs – but, like Daniel (and like Israel), they have God on their side and will triumph.”
Excerpts and quotes above taken from pages 49-56 of Iain Buchanan’s e-book which can be read @ http://issuu.com/juste-books/docs/sang_nila_utama_and_the_lion_of_jud.
BELOW: Christian triumphalism