LETTER | We, who represent the various religious communities of Malaysia hereby, affirm and renew our commitment to preserve and promote interfaith understanding and harmony in order to maintain the peaceful coexistence of our multi-religious population.
We acknowledge that our Federal Constitution guarantees religious freedom (Articles 3 and 11) for all. This freedom includes the right to practice, self-administer and propagate the faith to others. In the context of our multi-religious society, this freedom should be exercised in the spirit of mutual respect, sensitivity, and goodwill for the common good.
We pledge as we face rapid changes in a fast-changing and interconnected world where religious sentiments can easily be played up for political and ideological ends, that we shall always strive to exercise our religious activities with an utmost sense of social responsibility.
We call upon all religious communities to do everything in their power to refrain from any action that would cause enmity, animosity, ill-will or hostility to others whenever they seek to propagate their faith to others, through their preaching, teaching, religious literature and the promotion of their programs in the public domain.
We denounce any attempt to convert others by coercion or by unethical means. This means that we should refrain from the following actions:
1. Force someone to attend any religious function against their will
2. Ridicule or denigrate other religions by name
3. Enter into another person’s home or approach someone on the street unless
at the person’s convenience and welcome
4. Deny humanitarian help on condition they convert
5. Distribute religious literature in the vicinity of a place of worship of another
religion or during a religious festival.
We bear mutual responsibility to maintain and sustain the peace and harmony that helped us to cherish the rich and beautiful religious diversity of our beloved nation Malaysia.
The MALAYSIAN CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF BUDDHISM, CHRISTIANITY, HINDUISM, SIKHISM, and TAOISM (MCCBCHST)
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.
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