Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, and you cannot seek to convert a Muslim to Christianity. Also, tipping is not generally practiced. So, today, I left a tip for the hotel maid and left my Bible laying on a table. There are subtle ways to share one’s faith.
I have found myself having a strange reaction to the religious situation here. As I see Muslims on the street and in the hotel, I find myself feeling sorry for them. I have never felt that way before about Muslims. I surely respect their faith, though I do not agree with them. I felt sorry for them because they live in a society that feels it has protect itself from other beliefs.
That is contrary to how I approach Christian. I read widely, including stuff that is not Christian. I don’t feel constrained by my government to be a Christian; I feel constrained by God to seek His truth.
The Muslims in Malaysia receive special economic and professional advantages as well, so it’s not just a matter of religion. That seems like it will really hurt the nation, because that means 40 percent of the population is limited in how it can contribute to the national well-being. This apparently came out of fear of the ethic Chinese population and their long-time economic success when Malaysia was a British colony.
Now let me bring this back home to America. There are some who want to do for Christianity in the U.S. what has been done for Islam in Malaysia. My response: We don’t need that. We don’t want that. We do need the U.S. government to give special favor to Christians or Christianity. We need freedom of religion because Christians and Christianity have all the strength and protection they need — the God of the Bible as revealed in Christ.