Posted in New Hope

Deadly attacks on Christians and churches — latest news

UPDATE (2 June 2019)

Look at the green graph below.

Apart from the Gulf states of Bahrain and Qatar which have large expat and foreign worker populations, the two other countries that are religiously closest to Malaysia – in terms of Muslim composition – are Lebanon and Burkina Faso.

Lebanon, as is widely known, has experienced decades of Muslim-Christian civil war. For the latest news of terrorist attacks on Christians in Burkina Faso, read article excerpt below.

Over the last fortnight …

“On May 12, unknown attackers killed a Catholic priest and five worshippers in northern Burkina Faso, before burning the church. Two days later, four Catholics were killed in a separate attack in the region. It was the third attack on Christians in Burkina Faso in just three weeks. Then, two weeks later (May 26), gunmen raided another church in the region and shot four people dead.

“The targeting of both Catholics and Protestants in the country comes amid a wider unraveling of security that has killed and displaced Muslims and Christians alike. In this rising crisis, the escalation is outpacing the government’s response, and jihadis are pursuing new forms of social control and intimidation against civilians.” Continue reading ‘Escalating Violence in Burkina Faso Is Outpacing the Government’s Response’ at World Politics Review. 

BELOW: Anti-ICERD rally in KL on 8 Dec 2018

ORIGINAL WRITE UP (18 Sept 2018)

Why PAS and Umno are afraid for Islam

Statistics are indisputably more truthful than the DAP. And what the data tells us is that Muslim countries are, by and large, utterly homogeneous within themselves. Homogeneous means no pluralism, period.

The three bar graphs on this page show a total of 49 countries in the world that are Muslim majority. Of these countries, 32 have populations that are more than 90 percent Muslim – see chart.

BELOW: All the countries that are upwards of 90 percent Muslim – there are many, many of them 


Note: The data used as the basis for my graphs were sourced from ‘Religious Composition by Country, 2010-2050’ report provided by the Pew Research Centre.

Half of Islamic world have Muslim population above 95%

A vast majority of Muslim states – 32 out of 49 – are religiously monolithic. You can see the rock solid green block visualized above.

In other words, more than 70 percent of all Muslim-majority countries are homogeneous (i.e. less than one inhabitant out of every ten belongs to a religion other than Islam).

In fact, 25 countries or half of the world’s 49 Muslim majority countries have a Muslim population of 95 percent and above. Countries that are 99 percent Muslim – repeat, NINETY NINE percent – are aplenty too:

  • Afghanistan — 99.7% Muslim
  • Somalia — 99.7% Muslim
  • Iran — 99.5% Muslim
  • Tunisia — 99.5% Muslim
  • Western Sahara — 99.4% Muslim
  • Iraq — 99.1% Muslim
  • Yemen — 99.1% Muslim
  • Mauritania — 99.1% Muslim

And Morocco is 99.9 percent Muslim. NINETY NINE POINT NINE!

These are not multi religious countries or cultures – not by any stretch of the imagination.

Muslim-Christian conflict: The crusades, perang salib

Turkey has a 98 percent Muslim population. This was not the case in olden days. Turkish city Istanbul was called Constantinople before its capture by the Ottoman Muslim army in 1453. Constantinople was named after the first Christian ruler Emperor Constantine.

Constantinople was for a long time the capital of the Byzantine empire. Byzantium was the centre of Christendom in the east as Rome was for western Christendom. The First Crusade (1096-99) was actually called by Pope Urban in response to the cry for help from Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus when the surrounding Christian Holy Land (Jerusalem) was being conquered by the Seljuk Turks.

In the early years of our previous century (c.1914), there were two million Armenian Christians living in Turkey. Today the community only numbers an estimated 50,000 – 70,000.

The inexorable march of all Muslim countries towards religious homogeneity is reflected in their statistics – refer this page’s green bar graphs.

BELOW: The ten countries with 70-90 percent Muslim population are a mixed bag stretching across a wide swathe of land from southeast Asia (Indonesia, Brunei) to central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan) and across the Middle East (Kuwait, Oman, UAE) to Africa (Sierra Leone, Guinea), and encompassing one European country (Albania)


The ummah: Many colours, one religious ideology

Muslim countries can be clustered geographically into various sub-regions. There are:

  the ‘stan’ countries  — Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan

  northern Africa — Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Western Sahara

  sub-Saharan Africa — Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Somalia, Nigeria, etc, etc

  Middle East & Levant — the sole country in this region that isn’t Muslim is Israel

•  Indian subcontinent — India, although a Hindu country, has the world’s second largest Muslim population numbering 200 million (est.)

  Asia — Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world

China (24.7m) and Russia (9.4m) have a lot of Muslims in absolute numbers although Muslims comprise only a tiny fraction of the population of these big, super populous countries.

Some Muslim majority countries that may not be familiar to us are the archipelagos of Maldives and Comoros. European countries Albania and Kosovo are Muslim majority but Bosnia-Herzegovina at 46.5 percent Muslim has slightly more Christians.


M’sia is an exception rather than the norm

It is extremely rare for a Muslim-majority country to be multi religious like Malaysia (see chart above). As already mentioned, seven in ten (71%) of Muslim-majority countries are mono religious, i.e. with their population being above 90 percent Muslim.

Abnormal Muslim-majority but multi-religious countries share one common trait – a history of European colonization. There are only two countries that are borderline Muslim majority, i.e. Nigeria (51.1%) and Chad (55.1%). The great majority, as previously noted, are mostly 90 percent and above Muslim saturated.

The last time I drew a similar chart in a 2014 blog post, the Muslim population in Malaysia was quoted at 63.7 percent. Back then I was using year 2010 statistics. Malaysia’s Muslim population has since risen to 66.1 percent, using statistics projected to the year 2020.

The figure should by rights keep going up and up until Malaysia finally conforms with the global Muslim norm as shown in Graph 1 at the top of this page.

(If anyone is interested, Buddhists in Malaysia have dropped two percentage points to 15.7 percent of the population over the same time period.)

BELOW: No diversity … all the finalists in the men’s 100m sprint at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing are black


Similar to Malaysia, Nigeria belongs to the British Commonwealth.

Nigeria’s Muslim population in the 1950s was in fact more than double that of its Christian segment. According to the 1952 Nigerian census, Muslims were then 47.4 percent of the population, Christians 21.1 percent while 31.6 percent were of other faiths (folk religions).

Based on year 2020 projection, Muslims will be 51.1 percent of the Nigerian population and Christians 46.9 percent. Yet only a decade ago, the Muslim vs Christian score in Nigeria was neck and neck: Muslims (48.8%), Christians (49.3%).

In the half century span between Nigeria’s 1960 independence from British rule and 2010, the Christians raced ahead due to their successful conversion rate particularly among the country’s animists. The religious balance is however tilting steadily back in favour of Islam and by the year 2050, Nigerian Muslims are projected to be 58.5 percent against 39.3 percent of Christians.

Chad borders Nigeria on its west and has two official languages, Arabic and French. Chad has a 41.1 percent Christian population. Today Christian proselytization targets Chad’s animist tribes.

Only five countries, including Malaysia, are in the 60-70 percent Muslim population bandwidth. Rare because half of all Muslim-majority countries – as we know – have a Muslim population of 95 percent and above.

BELOW: No diversity … all the finalists in the men’s 100m sprint at the 2012 Olympics in London are black


Arab-speaking countries usually rank in the high 80s and 90s with regard to Muslim population ratio. Bahrain and Qatar are outliers in having ‘only’ a 65-70 percent Muslim population.

Both are tiny countries with a very small native population and their comparatively low Muslim percentage figures (sourced from Pew Forum database) are due to Bahrain and Qatar hosting a substantial presence of “international migrants”.

These non citizens in Bahrain and Qatar are temporary foreign workers predominantly from the Philippines and India. According to Pew’s accounting, Qatar has 13.7 percent Christians and 15.9 percent Hindus; Bahrain has 14.1 percent Christians and 10.2 percent Hindus.

(Saudi Arabia with its sizeable expat population is in the same boat. The kingdom has 92.7 percent Muslims, falling short of the sterling 99.9 percent expected of it as the home to Mecca and Medina.)


Burkina Faso is a former French colony and French remains its official language. The country was previously known by the name Upper Volta. Burkina Faso has 21.7 percent Christians, thanks to its colonial legacy, and is also a hive of evangelical missionary activity.

Burkina Faso is ruled by a mainly Christian upper class and the majority Muslims complain about “their low representation within the political elite and the civil service”. Muslim also complain that “public administration is sometimes biased in favour of Christianity” – ref. article ‘Burkina Faso: Preserving the Religious Balance’.


The Lebanese civil war between Christians and Muslims lasted from 1975 to 1990.

Half a million Palestinian refugees arriving in the early 1970s upset Lebanon’s delicate demographic balance between its Christians and its Muslims. Lebanese Muslims had chosen to side with the PLO who fought with the Lebanese Christians.

Lebanon, like Chad and Burkina Faso, was formerly a French colony – which explains its Christianity. Due to its multiple religions, Lebanon has had to develop a unique power-sharing system to placate the warring religious factions. This political model requires that the Lebanese president is a Maronite Christian, the prime minister is Sunni and the speaker of the house, Shi’a.

BELOW: No diversity … all the finalists in the men’s 100m sprint at the 2016 Olympics in Rio are black

To sum up, there are half a dozen countries that are close to Malaysia in terms of Muslim percentages. But let’s first put aside oil-rich Bahrain and Qatar. These two Arab countries have a large population of transient workers, and these Christian and Hindu migrants will eventually be sent back home to the Philippines and India.

If Bahrain and Qatar fail to repatriate their migrant workforce at the end of the day, they will finish by looking like Malaysia with our multiracial, multireligious citizenry that is socially segregated.

Diversity is Christian vs Muslim binary

What can Malaysia learn from the other four Muslim-majority countries that mirror us in religious composition?

(1) All of us are saddled with an European colonial heritage and with this comes its legacy of Christianity. These uncommon multi-religious and at the same time Muslim-majority countries have between 20 and 50 percent Christians:

  • Nigeria — 46.9%  Christian
  • Chad — 41.1%  Christian
  • Lebanon — 38.4%  Christian
  • Burkina Faso — 21.7%  Christian

(2) Westerners are today carrying out missionary work in these countries, building on the foundation of the earlier white colonialism. One difference however is that the present day proselytizers are largely evangelists while the previous missionaries were Catholics and Protestants.

Legitimately fearful of the Christian agenda

Isma president Aminuddin Yahaya – story linked in tweet above – noted that the present ta’awun siyasi is the third time that Umno and PAS have come together. The first occasion was to protest against the Malayan Union in 1946, the second to close ranks after the May 13 racial riots in 1969 and the third following BN’s disastrous outing in the general election of 2018.

Aminuddin said the three episodes cited in 1946, 1969 and 2018 have a common thread in that the Umno-PAS cooperation emerged  because Malays feel besieged. “Orang Melayu merasakan hak mereka mula dipinggirkan dan agama mereka pula dipermainkan.”

According to the Isma president, Malays now seriously fear that the position of Islam is under threat.

Only a few days ago (Sept 13), PAS Mursyidul Am Hashim Jasin reminded his party muktamar that “Islam’s position in the country has been threatened by people trying to spread the Christian agenda”.

BELOW: Malaysia’s highest profile evangelical preacher Hannah Yeoh spreading the Gospel at Whispering Hope church 

Christians gained plenty of power through GE14

It is normal for most Muslims to live in a mono-religious country where 9 out of 10 of their neighbours are fellow Muslims. They believe that the correct order of society is one of Islamic governance, hence PAS’s great unease that our newly appointed Malaysian Chief Justice, Attorney General and Law Minister are all three of them Christian.

Umno shares PAS’s concern over the current Christianization trend.

It had previously been muted on the subject in order to safeguard the BN’s native Christian vote bank in Sabah and Sarawak. The BN component parties in the two East Malaysia states have, however, pulled out of the coalition following the BN’s loss of Putrajaya in GE14. With the Dayak and Kadazan-Dusun-Murut Christian-majority parties now out of the BN, Umno is freer to speak up.

Therefore it is only to be expected for Umno and PAS to cooperate in the interest of Islam. As PAS head of Dewan Ulamak, Tuan Guru Mahfodz Mohamad recently put it, the muktamar fears that Islam could be weakened into a “minority voice”.

DAP, on the other hand, has been demonizing PAS and spitting on Umno. The party has also been arrogantly forcing its ethos on the rest of us despite that its championing of multiculturalism aka diversity is simply not grounded on reality.

Look at the green graphs above and the trend they portend. Pluralism is not a feature of Muslim countries, and certainly not religious pluralism.

Lebanon has important things to teach us

What other lessons can Malaysia learn from the rare Muslim-majority countries that mirror us in religious composition?

ONE, water is popularly said to always seek its own level. Likewise people in general. The races, if left unhindered, would naturally tend to congregate among their own kind. That’s why Muslim countries eventually end up 90 percent and more homogeneously Islamic.

Or just look at the line-up at the Olympic Games 100m sprint finals, ref. the three photos above. Shout all you want but the entire field of top flight athletes are uniformly of one skin colour. You can’t force the Olympics to accomodate fair-skinned runners just because you chant the diversity mantra.

TWO, Muslims and Christians self segregate. Chad and Nigeria are countries where Muslims and Christians are split almost half half among the population although Muslims now make up a slight majority. In both countries, Muslims live in the north and Christians live in the south.

In a similarly polarized territory, Christians in south Sudan broke away to form their own independent country in 2011. Sudan, the bigger old country, remains 90.7 percent Muslim.

We see the same divide in Malaysia where Muslims live in the Malay heartland along the east coast, with Kelantan and Terengganu ruled by Parti Islam and Pahang ruled by Parti Melayu. Meanwhile the west coast of the peninsula is under the thumb of DAP which has by far the most Aduns in Penang, Perak, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.

BELOW: ‘Pendedahan Agenda Kristian’, a booklet prepared by the Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS)

THREE, we see how the Christian population in Nigeria more than doubled from 21.1 percent in 1952 to 49.3 percent in 2010 stemming from active conversions to Christianity. The Nigerian Muslim ratio had remained fairly stagnant. Surely PAS has cause to worry about the same phenomenon happening here.

FOUR, we see in Burkina Faso – where Christians are “only 22 percent” – how the elite minority hold power whereas the Muslim majority are under represented in the economy and civil service. It is moreover Christianity that has been favoured historically in the public sphere.

Even though the country is Muslim majority, the president of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré is a Christian.

And if in Malaysia, the evangelical pastor Raymond Koh is mysteriously kidnapped, in Burkina Faso white missionaries are outright slaughtered by al-Qaeda linked terrorists. Religious tensions lie simmering beneath the surface.

FIVE, in Lebanon we see a religious civil war. Multiculturalism, or to be more precise, religious pluralism does not work. Never will.

Ethnic diversity almost always doesn’t work out either. You can well imagine a reunification of North and South Korea. But you cannot imagine Nigeria and Japan, say, merging into a cohesive polity. Koreans on either side of the 38th parallel (38°N) still share a kinship nonetheless; Nigerians and Japanese clearly don’t.

Yet even people of one race, for instance the Irish in Northern Ireland, fought each other because they belong to two different branches of a common religion – Catholicism and Protestantism. What more two rival religions that have been in conflict for one millennia?

It is understandable that PAS and Umno, who collectively represent many million Muslims, should be worried and concerned over the DAP coming to power. For this reason, cooperation between Umno and PAS is definitely on track.

NOTE: All the Muslim Christian percentages cited are from the Pew Forum database estimate of population figures projected for year 2020.



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8 thoughts on “Deadly attacks on Christians and churches — latest news

  1. What??? The long winded write up is to sum up Pas-Umno cooperation……what a waste of my lifetime….

    And since when Olympics finalist has anything to do with religion and skin colour? AS far as i know, It has always been based on the best…the best man wins…..

    1. well said!
      umno is a sinking now. headless chicken.
      utusan is also sinking. awang tak selamat lagi.
      Umno + Pas = good news for everyone.

      1. Umno + PAS + PKR (Anwar faction) = all Muslim = stable federal gomen

        Pribumi + DAP = religious rivalries = how long can this self-antagonistic regime last?

        1. one more left umno.
          by the time they joint forces,
          umno problably left with 10MPs.
          surely a formidable ” force ” to be reckon with.
          may be by then Awang selamat will be ” diselamatkan ” and start the nonsense again.
          let me tell you something. the Malays are smarter than you.
          they know between TDM and Nasuruddin Tantawi, who has more wisdom. They are able to differentiate. but there is a stupid species like Lokman md noor. pure idiot and embarassing idiots to the nation.

  2. The call for all to thread cautiously upon the sanctity of one single religion is a real social problem in a multi cultural/racial country like Malaysia. Discourse is futile because there is a sense of complete disregard for substance, evidence or even common logic, in order to make a claim. (eg religion under Attack, Chinese dominance and Malays losing power etc) The bar is set so low, sentiments are enough to pass as truth.

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