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'Allah' row thrusts Malaysian priest into spotlight

Published on Jan 19, 2014 12:06 PM
 
Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of the weekly Catholic bulletin, Herald. In recent weeks, the priest has been burned in effigy, investigated for sedition and denounced by Muslims in a spiralling dispute over whether Malay-speaking Christians can use "Allah" to refer to their God. -- FILE PHOTO: THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

KLANG (AFP) - In recent weeks, Malaysian priest Lawrence Andrew has been burned in effigy, investigated for sedition and denounced by Muslims in a spiralling dispute over whether Malay-speaking Christians can use "Allah" to refer to their God.

No one is more taken aback by this than Father Andrew, a bookish, cheerful 68-year-old Jesuit who has become a reluctant symbol for religious equality in the Muslim-majority nation.

"I never asked for this," Father Andrew, an ethnic Indian, told AFP before recent Sunday services at his church in a scruffy section of the port city Klang.

"It didn't even cross my mind. Our programme is all about love."

 
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