Malaysia: Pressing for Ps. Koh's Release
Updated: Mar 2
CCTV cameras captured the moment Pastor Raymond Koh was snatched off the streets in Selangor by a well-organised team. Evidence points towards a disciplined and highly trained snatch squad. This was 13 February 2017. Video footage shows three black SUVs surrounding and boxing in Pastor Koh’s car, forcing it to a halt. Two other cars and two motorcycles were also involved in the kidnapping.
Several men then ran towards Pastor Koh’s vehicle before the entire convoy was driven away. A passer-by, whose vehicle entered the scene, was warned off by a man in a balaclava and forced backwards by a motorcyclist. Some 15 men are said to have been involved in the planned abduction.
Pastor Koh’s wife Susannah pieced together what happened. Voice of the Martyrs USA: ‘There was an eye-witness, right smack in the middle of that scene. He thought it was a movie production. My children went door-to-door and found CCTV footage of the entire incident. It was a very military-style organisation, well-organised, and done in about 40 seconds. Last year, one of the officers confessed that the operation, the abduction, was done by the police.’ Pastor Koh ran Hope Community, an organisation set up in the capital Kuala Lumpur to help the poorest members of society.
In 2011, Hope Community came under scrutiny by the authorities. They accused Pr Koh of trying to convert Muslims during a party at a local church.
Proselytising Muslims – attempting to convert them – is forbidden by law in Malaysia. The state also prohibits its Muslim citizens from converting to another faith. Under Malaysian law, those who change their religion could be charged with apostasy. The allegations against Pastor Koh were later dropped, but soon afterwards he was sent bullets in the post as a clear warning to end his Christian ministry.
Voice of the Martyrs and Release International is working with others to press the Malaysian government to investigate the disappearance and set Pastor Koh free. ‘We’re demanding Pastor Raymond’s immediate release and safe return to his family,’ says Release CEO Paul Robinson. ‘And we’re calling for justice. Those responsible for his disappearance must be held accountable.’
Christians make up about nine per cent of the population of Malaysia, which is officially a secular state. Even so, Muslims are forbidden from changing their religion. And those who do, face persecution and discrimination. You can sign the petition here: https://www.releaseraymond.com
Credit: Release International
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