Malaysia is among the top countries in the world where its Muslims say religion is very important in their lives, a survey by the Pew Research Center has found.
We are right up there in the highest tier at 93 percent for saying Islam matters most in life, sandwiched between Afghanistan (92%) and Pakistan (94%) – see bar chart below.
By 2050, Muslim numbers will nearly equal Christians
“Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world,” according to demographic projections by the Pew Research Center in a report recently on Dec 7.
Christians will still remain the largest religious group, however, over the next four decades.
By the year 2050, there will be near parity in total number between the world’s Muslims (2.8 billion) and and Christians (2.9 billion).
This likely scenario of Muslims at 30 percent of the global population versus Christians at 31 percent would be a historical first.
LINE GRAPHS — below
2010-2050: Population growth projections of major faith groups
The poor ~little~ Buddhist
Buddhists are such a mercifully small group — genuinely meek and mild. Compare with Christians who make up 31.4 percent of the world population currently (see graph above).
In fact, going by absolute numbers, Buddhists will remain a stagnant population over the next half century.
As a share of the religious population worldwide, the percentage of Buddhists is projected even to shrink from “ONLY” – see line graph above – 7.1 percent today to a mere 5.2 percent in 2050.
Bar chart below below shows negative growth (-0.3) for Buddhists.
Clash of Civilizations
It is bound to happen in Malaysia.
This is because Malaysians are very religious and Malays even more so. At 86 percent level of support, Malaysia ranks among the world’s Muslim countries strongest in favour of sharia as the paramount law of the land.
Percentage of Muslims who want sharia as their country’s official law
A cross-sectional sampling:
- Afghanistan – 99%
- Malaysia – 86%
- Indonesia – 72%
- Uganda – 66%
- Tunisia – 56%
- Chad – 47%
- Tanzania – 37%
- Lebanon – 29%
- Kazakhstan – 10%
Source: Pew Research Center, 2013
Muslims will eventually overtake Christians
Christianity, which has traditionally been the world’s foremost faith, is being challenged by Islam for preeminence.
In terms of size, the Muslim flock is fast catching up with the Christian sheeple.
By the year 2070, Muslims will very probably outnumber Christians, the Pew study forecasts (see line graph below).
Mega churches in Korea, S’pore and Jerusubang
So in one corner of the ring, we have the very religious Malay Muslims. In the opposite corner, there are the evangelical Christians who are largely the well-to-do Chinese.
As one example, the Calvary church in Bukit Jalil – southeast Asia’s biggest – is comprised of middle and upper middle class Chinese forming the majority of its congregation.
According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, evangelical Christians belonging to the Chinese, Indo-Malay and Korean cultural traditions comprise a quarter (24.6%) of the world’s evangelical Christian population.
The centre’s data – below – however refers to the period in mid-2005, i.e. a decade ago. The present ratio is possibly much higher.
Click to enlarge
Money talks: Evangelistas have the financial capital for politics
“The majority of Pentecostals [evangelicals] in urban centres like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Surabaya, Jakarta and Manila are, with some notable exceptions, upwardly mobile, middle-class ethnic Chinese,” said researcher Terence Chong who is a Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.
They are Chinese because this form of evangelism allows for “identity-consolidation in Chinese-minority societies where these churches are seen as alternative places to a less than welcoming political climate,” says Dr Chong in his 25 Sept 2015 article published by the ISEAS Perspective bulletin.
Evangelical churches are also an important place for the Chinese to do their business networking in addition to providing contact opportunities for professionals. Hence it is this “ability to mobilise financial capital” that – in one aspect – enables these Chinese minorities to conflate religion with politics.
BELOW: Oh look, Pastor Kong Hee of the City Harvest church Singapore is his country’s newsmaker of 2015
Chinese evangelistas and their Subang Jaya hub
While Singapore is on the ball researching and monitoring the phenomenon of evangelistas and their explosive growth, Malaysia is typically tidak apa. This could have something to do with the fact that Jakim’s staff are conversant primarily in bahasa Melayu.
Can you recognize who’s standing on stage in the City Harvest church of Subang Jaya?
The language barrier allows English and Chinese-speaking evangelistas of Jerusubang – who are certainly sneaky and savvy enough – to fly under the radar of Malaysia’s religious authorities although Bukit Aman, at least, seems to be somewhat aware.
Born Again Christians who’ve lost their Chinese self-identity
According to Terence Chong, “More recently, studies commissioned by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute show that the political marginalisation of Malaysian Chinese has endowed Pentecostalism [evangelism] with the capacity to act as a vehicle to consolidate Chinese identity as a modern and individualised subject within the country”.
“It is also noted that in a nation where Muslims are in the majority, Malaysian Chinese are differentially inclined to Christianity and specifically the Pentecostal church where the church and its various groups provide social solidarity and support,” Dr Chong added.
Just like Muslim has become the main identity marker for Malays, Christian has become the identity marker for Born Again Chinese in Malaysia.
BELOW: “My child is neither Chinese nor Indian” but she’s definitely Christian — Hannah Yeoh
Chinese and their evangelism unsettling the Muslim majority
Malays feel besieged because the evangelistas are so very aggressive in their missionary zeal. And not to mention truly sneaky too.
“Not only is it [evangelical Christianity] predominantly ethnic Chinese driven, hence, making it a convenient marker of ethnicity in multicultural societies, it also appeals to non-Chinese and indigenous communities, thus raising sensitivities over proselytization, especially in Malaysia and Singapore,” cautioned Terence Chong.
Reactions from the majority faithful signal that the “proselytism of evangelical and Pentecostal Churches often triggers reactions from radical groups and other communities” – see Vatican Insider, 3 Nov 2015.
The VI article further warned, “In areas where Christianity is usually a minority religion, this can encourage the formation of radical and fanatic groups that cannot wait to unleash anti-Christian violence”.
ABOVE: The evangelistas are most vocal in slandering and denigrating Islam
22 thoughts on “93% M’sian Muslims say religion “very important”, 86% want sharia as official law”
With the Christians from the Catholic Herald to Bishop Ng Moon Hing and well lets call her Christian (Hannah Yeoh) all preaching gospels of hate and mixing politics with religion in a democracy, what can one expect of the majority?
The Christians have had their fair share of their Syariah (Christian inspired secularism) for centuries. Now that they have awakened the monster of religion as apolitical force, let them live with the rise of Syariah I say.
To Hannah Yeoh, Fr. Lawrence Andrew and Bishop Ng Moon Hing (a Moonie?) be careful about what you ask for so loudly next time. You could well end up getting more than you bargained for.
Chinese + Evangelical Christianity = Identity crisis. For that look at HY of Jerusubang.
re: 93% M’sian Muslims say religion “very important”, 86% want sharia as official law
I doubt the accuracy of the findings. At such a high score, why we don’t see the implemention of hudud laws in Malaysia? Moreover, economic activities that go against Islamic teachings are so dominant in our system. The % above are near perfection and more suitable for a full-fledge Islamic nation. The findings reflect sentiments of Muslims in Malaysia. But the reality in term of implementation/governance is far from the sentiment.
The late Nik Aziz once asked “Kalau Malaysia layak dipanggil negara Islam, habis tu Saudi adalah negara apa?”
re: “why we don’t see the implemention of hudud laws in Malaysia?”
Because Islamophobics like MCA and DAP dance like cats on a hot tin roof. They’re deadly allergic to the word.
re: MCA and DAP
Other BN component parties like Gerakan etc and Sabah/Sarawak based parties have also openly opposed hudud. Even PKR is non committal.
re: cross check with other surveys?
re: How important is religion in your life?
In earlier times, those in Christian countries would have scored in the high 90s too, I believe.
Re I doubt the accuracy of the findings
This is just so cliche l o l
Not speaking about Drinho but referring to Dapsters … they’ve little doubt believing all the fitnah yang ditabur evangelista merata-rata
e.g. Phantom voters in Subang Jaya — tak masuk akal to send busloads to a DAP constituency where the popular incumbent won by a super majority
re: “The % above are near perfection”
Not really. The 86% vote on sharia is still 14% short of perfect.
The higher score of 93% is on the more intangible question of “how important is religion inn your life”.
The figures I cited were from Pew Forum. Why don’t you cross check with other surveys?
The late Nik Aziz very much wanted a Saudi-styled Islamist governance in Malaysia. That is not to say that it is an ideal shariah-based governance. In fact, there are many things in that system of governance which go against the sunnah of the blessed Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
The good news of the inevitable appearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) in the end times was prophesied by our Prophet (s.a.w.):
“If just one day of the life of this world remains, Almighty Allah will prolong it and someone from among my descendants [Ahlul-Bait] will come. His name will be like mine. And his father’s name shall be as my father’s name. He shall fill the world, that is now full of oppression and evils, with justice and mercy.”
(Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi).
“Saudi Arabia has executed at least 151 people so far this year – the most put to death in a single year since 1995…The large number of executions shed further light on what Amnesty referred to as “UNFAIR JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS”, with a disproportionate imposition of capital punishment on foreign nationals.”
In the Name of Allah Most Compassionate and Merciful
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) made a clear connection between having belief in Allah and practicing compassion. In a saying of the Prophet narrated in al-Tabarani he said “You won’t be true believers until you have compassion.” When some people heard him say this they remarked, “But oh Prophet, we are all merciful.” He replied, “I am not referring to the mercy that one would have towards his companion or close friend; I am referring to mercy and compassion towards one and all!”
In one of his sayings the Prophet indicated that it is paramount to be merciful towards our fellow beings in order for us to receive the blessings of The All-Merciful. Again in al-Tabrani’s records, the Prophet says “Whoever does not show mercy to those on earth will not receive the mercy of the Lord in the Heavens.”
In another saying narrated in al-Tirmidhi, the Prophet s.a.w. said that “The farthest people from Allah are those who are cruel in heart.” Cruelty pushes a person far away from God. The Prophet said that we should even be merciful with our enemies. An example of this is found in the collection of Imam Muslim which narrates that some people came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) complaining about persecution from the unbelievers and were asking the Prophet to invoke Allah’s curse against the unbelievers. The Prophet answered “I was sent as a mercy and not as a curser.”
re: “Again in al-Tabrani’s records, the Prophet says “Whoever does not show mercy to those on earth”
What about those who give a nod to gratuitous killing – like the massacre of thousands of stray dogs in Penang?
The main concern is about dogs defecating all over the place, or that they are prone to carrying disease germs in its body. If I remember correctly, there was the available alternative of vaccine treatment for the Penang dogs. What was their justification for preferring killing the animals instead? I think God-consciousness (taqwa) should form the crux of our feelings for His creation.
Abu Huraira r.a. reported that the Prophet – peace and blessings be upon him – once said: “A prostitute saw a dog lolling around a well on a hot day and hanging his tongue out from thirst. With her shoe she drew up some water from the well for the dog. Thereby, Allah forgave her her sins.”
(Sahih Muslim 2245)
re: “The main concern is about dogs defecating all over the place, or that they are prone to carrying disease germs in its body.”
Same with cats. Lucky for the felines, they’re smaller, more nimble and not so easily caught.
re: “If I remember correctly, there was the available alternative of vaccine treatment for the Penang dogs. What was their justification for preferring killing the animals instead?”
They are Bintang Lima, descents of Bintang Tiga. Gratuitous violence is nothing to them.
Below is a description by a historian who has written extensively on the Malayan Emergency and the communists.
re: “I think God-consciousness (taqwa) should form the crux of our feelings for His creation.”
They have the mentality of the conquistadors. Even pagans of darker skin colour were considered sub-human what more animals.
Is it so Kak? I have witnessed dogs defecating in many places inside and outside homes in the town and the countryside but i have yet to catch a cat answering nature’s call in such a carefree manner.
Err, maybe where you’re living now it’s squeaky clean and the cats will kena saman if they do so? ,D
Just last week in a cab I was in, an elderly Muslimah remarked that the ISIS terrorists are behaving just as horribly as the Chin Peng communist radicals in the old days.
Imam Al-Ghazali who has been called the Authenticator of Islam (Hujjatul Islam) said:
“Declare your jihad on the thirteen enemies you cannot see (within yourself) – egoism, arrogance, conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, intolerance, anger, lying, cheating, gossiping and slandering.
If you can master and destroy them, then you will be ready to fight the enemy you can see (externally).”
* this standard should apply to communist revolutionaries as well; they who bulldoze society with their radical, often inhumane reforms.
My friend, a molecular scientist, during her 1st year studies in UK started to go deeper into her understanding of the Quran and Islam.
I see similar patterns among our new generations. The higher their education, the more they want to learn on Islam and become good Muslims, In sha Allah.
Scientific endeavour has always been a part of classical Islam, as most of us know – such as the likes of Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Al-Khawarizmi, and Ibn Battuta. The scientific discoveries of every age however, could not unlatch the moorings of the classical mainstream, due mainly to the fact that sound Islamic knowledge is a living tradition passed on from generation to generation stretching from Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. down to our times – this is the foundation of Ahl Sunnah wal Jamaah (a term which has been heavily contested by the wahhabis and modern radicals).
Islam to us covers not only hudud, wearing scarves, eating halal food, not touching dogs..
There are too many ‘wonders’ in life yet to learn and discover.
Because it is the religion for the peoples who thinking.As Allah said “LIQAUMIN YATAFAKKARUN” not the religion of blindly followed ! or they called it as “taklid buta”
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