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2008-10-24
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Methodists express concern over erosion of religious freedom
The Methodist Church in Malaysia (MCM) has reaffirmed its commitment to reach out to the needy and the oppressed through social, medical and educational services in the country.

The Methodist church, which is the largest protestant denomination in the country, also committed itself to uphold truth and justice and support all that strive towards such an end, and to “pray for peace and harmony, political stability; economic prosperity, poverty eradication, literacy advancement and the prevailing of righteousness, mercy, truth and justice in our nation.”

The ninth quadrennial session of the general conference of the MCM, which met at Kota Kinabalu from 15-20 September, reaffirmed its mission to “Spread scriptural holiness, transforming the nation.”

Some 100 delegates and staff from the six annual conferences in Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak attended the conference.

There were also guests and bishops from Singapore, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Australia and the USA.

The MCM, which began 120 years ago, has approximately 180,000 members in more than 560 congregations in the country.

During the conference, the current Bishop Dr Hwa Yung was re-elected for another term of four years.

The conference also elected Mr Anthony Row as the new secretary general.

While deliberating on the mission of the church and the strategies for the next four years, the conference expressed deep concern over some of the issues that continue to plague the nation, like rampant corruption at all levels in both public and private sectors, delayed reforms of the judiciary and the restoration of its integrity and independence, unlawful arrests and detentions under the oppressive Internal Security Act, and erosion of freedom of religion as guaranteed in the federal constitution.

The MCM is a member of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA).

Source: Asia Pacific Ecumenical News (APEN)
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