Christians urged to rejoice in hope amid adversity

Terence Netto | Dec 25, 2011

Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Eng called on Christians “to put two years of foreboding caused by corrosive doubt over their fidelity to constitution and country behind them and embrace the hope of change and national renewal.”

In a year-end message to Christians celebrating Christmas and New Year, the head of the Catholic Church in the Melaka-Johor diocese, said:

“Christmas is the season of hope which is why though Christians feel that their loyalty to the constitution and country has been unfairly questioned over the last two years, I pray their predisposition to hope will overcome the challenges posed by political demagogues and religious charlatans.”

The Jesuit-trained prelate has been vocal on issues affecting Christians in the year drawing to an end after his assumption of the presidency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia on Jan 1, 2011.

Catholics number 927,000 in a Christian population that is slightly over 9% of Malaysia’s total of 27.5 million people.

Bishop Paul observed that the last two years have been particularly trying for Christians as, first, the Catholic Church was at odds with the authorities over the right to use the term ‘Allah’ in their Bahasa Malaysia publications; and, later, Christian groups were accused, on dubious grounds, of proselytising among Muslims and of working to dethrone Islam as the country’s official religion.

“The combined effect of the two issues has left Christians with the feeling that they are a sinister and alien presence in this country when the truth is more nearly that in the education, health, and welfare fields, their contributions have been and continue to be of great benefit to the nation,” said Bishop Paul Tan.

Troubling times for Christian community

He urged Christians to imbue themselves with the spirit of Christmas which he said was to “cherish peace and goodwill, and to be plenteous in mercy.”

“A Christian is a person of hope, which means he or she believes in being patient in times of tribulation while persevering in prayer and redemptive effort.

“These are troubling times for the Christian community and the country at large, but because of a star that rose in Bethlehem two millennia ago, Christians nurture the hope that its gleam will redeem not only themselves but also the world,” said Bishop Paul Tan.

He reminded Christians that more than gifts and feasting, Christmas “holds its place in the hearts of humankind because they know that love is the greatest thing in the world.”

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 6:17 pm

    Christians are at odds with the authorities.. for past two years…said Bishop Paul Tan…and Mhuyiddin is claiming others are trying to disunite Malaysians.
    Difficult to understand these UMNO b hypocrites way of thinking.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 7:03 pm

    Muhyiddin says: “..the Najib adminsitration does not look at your background, religion or race in its policies…..”

    Ha, ha, ha…..coming from a man who is MALAY FIRST and Malaysian second…..ha, ha, ha…….

    Ha, ha, ha…..coming from an administration that has an NEP for UMNO cronies….not even Malay First; …….. ha, ha,ha…..

    Ha, ha, ha…..coming from a PM who endorses “Allah only for Muslims….” and all other religions, “use -lah only ‘god’………”

    Is there a better crowning joke or quotation to end off 2011?

  3. #3 by drngsc on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 7:50 pm

    Bishop Tan,
    Be glad that you are called to defend your faith. It means that you have been a salt unto the earth and a light unto the world. If you are cozy with them, it is even worse for you.
    Be of good cheer, Bishop, for He says ” I have overcome the world”.
    Of course if also means that we must work hard to overcome the evil in our midst.

    Tell all your Christian brothers, We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. 54 years is enough. GE 13 is our best chance. Failure is not an option. We all must work very very hard.

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 9:20 pm

    The Christians are easy meat. They don’t stand up to speak or fight for their rights but just keep on turning their cheeks. The Romans fed them to their Lions. The Christians should therefore not complain for their own inactions.

    The Christians are always the victims and targets. Not Hindus or Buddhists or Sikhs. Just meek Christians.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 10:41 pm

    Every religion teaches their followers to be meek and humble and love your enemies.
    In this sense….Christians have shown they live by the bible and die for the bible.
    One cannot say…Hindus ..Buddhists or Sikhs are more religious than Christians .
    That’s totally nonsense.
    Muslims are like the Christians…meek and humble.
    Don’t mix up with UMNO b dirty religion politics…with truthful sincere Muslims.
    Sheriff Singh is fanning for trouble……talking nonsense.
    I think the Chinese race….be it Christians or Buddhist was most selfish in the past.
    Don’t label any religion as the cause of our sufferings.
    It is mentalities…attitudes and behaviors…and UMNO b keep cashing in on Malay weaknesses using religion…in the most devilish crooked ways.

  6. #6 by Godfather on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 10:48 pm

    “I pray their predisposition to hope will overcome the challenges posed by political demagogues and religious charlatans”

    Part of the problem is that these so called religious leaders don’t use simple and basic English, and hence the message doesn’t get across very well. Who in Sabah or Sarawak understand words like “demagogues” and “charlatans”? Just go straight to the point. Tell them it has to be Anything But UMNO or else religious freedom will be eroded further.

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 10:53 pm

    Rom:5:3: And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
    Rom:5:4: And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
    Rom:5:5: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Monday, 26 December 2011 - 10:54 pm

    The Christian Bishop and his counterparts recently had to call on their flocks to register and vote and make their votes count. This is telling isn’t it? Telling it as it is.

    It is not about who is more religious. It is more as to how they all behave and how others respond to them.

    Did you put your eggs in your eggnog?

  9. #9 by Loh on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 1:06 am

    ///Muhyiddin: Don’t destroy unity that BN has built
    Nigel Aw | 5:52PM Dec 26 | 95
    Malaysia the only nation where people celebrate various cultural and religious festivals together despite their different backgrounds, says DPM.///–Malaysiakini

    Malaysia was the only country where people celebrating Christmas were warned by police that they needed a permit, until the Home Minister waived it.

    There are certainly many things Malaysia could claim to be first.

    Racism is everywhere though intensity differs; but Malaysia is the only country that has institutionalized racism.

    Many countries have no religious freedom. But in Malaysia, the constitution provides that people are free to practice religion of his choice. When people are free to practice any religion, it is automatically accepted that people are free to propagate the religion. But Malaysia is the only country which allows members of a particular religious belief to disturb the propagation of another religion, and to accuse others of proselytizing Muslims into Christians just because of the existence of Bible in the language Muslims comprehend.

    Malaysia is the only country in the world which denies the right some people to use the word God in a particular language.

    Malaysia scores many first which no other country wishes to be recognized.

    Singapore has more freedom in allowing the citizens to celebrate cultural and religious festivals of its people. So Muhyiddin must be a frog in a well to claim what he did. Of course using government funds to show that people of different backgrounds have free meals must be a first for Malaysia. Country practices no democracy have the word democratic in their name. Countries practices institutionalized racial polarization has to take advantage of some special days to project a different image. Malaysia is certainly first in the hypocritical activities financed by the state.

  10. #10 by k1980 on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 1:57 am

    //Racism is everywhere though intensity differs; but Malaysia is the only country that has institutionalized racism.//

    Thanks to mca, mic, gerakan…. so continue to vote for these sodders, you losers

  11. #11 by Winston on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 8:45 am

    drngsc, No. 3 post, well said.
    It’s long, long past time that the people of this country, the electorate,
    take back the reigns of the government in their hands, by voting for
    only those who are capable, have the interests of the people at heart and
    whose moral fiber is unquestionable.
    It’s long, long past time that we get rid of those who not only don’t do
    any good for the people and the country, but instead, turn even the good
    deeds of those who do, into evil ones.
    It’s also long, long past time that the church get its congregation to do
    the right thing by voting for the right people so that we will all enjoy the benefits
    of good governance.
    Their numbers may not be huge but 927,000 votes is not something to be
    sneered at!
    So, don’t be bullied!!!

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 10:24 am

    Some1 rejoiced: “Thank heaven 4 little girls”

    MY n UmnoB rejoiced: THANK HEAVEN 4 easily cowed Christians
    MCA, Gerakan, SUPP, etc: Thank heaven too 4 easily cowed Christians
    Yes, indeed, THANK HEAVEN 4 Christians in M’sia 2 serve as boogeyman 4 UmnoB/BN n Perkosa 2 unite n mobilise Malays 2 vote 4 UmnoB/BN n Perkosa

    UmnoB/BN n Perkosa LOVE Christians, cos they know they can always slap/bully Christians AGAIN n AGAIN: “That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also”

    Great JOY 2 UmnoB/BN indeed 2 dis God-sent grp of ppl who ensure eternal rule of UmnoB!

  13. #13 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 11:25 am

    When your enemies hit you on one cheek, offer the other chick for him to hit. When your enemy is a fighting cock, you become a KFC chick. Alhamdulilah. Praise the Lord ! We are 1 big happy family !

  14. #14 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 11:28 am

    Honestly, this is too unimaginative, it would have been better to have quoted Mark Anthony:” The evil that men do, lives after them, the good is often interned with them”..

  15. #15 by monsterball on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 1:30 pm

    Soon….Najib will say….”My Kingdom for a horse”….running away as fast as he can.

  16. #16 by monsterball on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 1:37 pm

    I have a dream….someone said to Najib….hi…’ & enjoy as much as you can. Don’t worry about spending People’s money. Go and enjoy. This is your last chance to spend millions.
    Forget about the poor and needy. It’s God’s will they are like that. If you can find a way to allow Rosmah spend another RM1 million…do so. Just put it as entertainment accounts…all legal.”

  17. #17 by monsterball on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 2:00 pm

    DPM said Christians are stirring trouble.
    All their provocations…insults …threats for years.. are not stirring for trouble.
    What kind of a cow brain he has?

  18. #18 by jus legitimum on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 2:00 pm

    The Umno hypocrites led by the Malay first fellow are not qualified to talk about unity of the various races.To cut the story short,just send all the scumbags into oblivion in the coming GE.

  19. #19 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 2:52 pm

    i-say man, now Malay genome mapped by UiTM, don’t play2, got many uses 1
    What abt UmnoBputras’ genomes? Can identify corrupt n rent-seeking genes or not aah?

  20. #20 by sotong on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 5:13 pm

    Until the ordinary people are allowed to teach and practise true religions…..there will be trouble.

  21. #21 by Loh on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 6:03 pm

    boh-liao :
    i-say man, now Malay genome mapped by UiTM, don’t play2, got many uses 1
    What abt UmnoBputras’ genomes? Can identify corrupt n rent-seeking genes or not aah?

    USM studies proved that Malay is not a race. Well, without article 153, Malaysian would have taken the place of Malay minus the need to prove cultural and religious practice. As it is, cultural practice is certainly not a consistent basis for classifying a person’s race. Food is part of a person’s culture, but when one takes food of other culture such as Japanese food, does not become Japanese? One would not but can one be said to be practicing his own culture which classifies him to his race?

  22. #22 by Loh on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 6:10 pm

    ///Echoing the premier, the DPM says cabinet had not decided on whether to take action against Shahrizat.///–Malaysiakini

    If it is corruption, MACC and the police should be involved. On what basis can be Cabinet take action against Shahrizat, the wife of the person running the government project awarded by the agriculture minister? The Cabinet should consider whether the project had been awarded erroneously, and the parties who authorized the project should face the music.

  23. #23 by Jong on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 10:13 pm

    Loh, MACC/Pdrm needs to get PM’s nod lah! They don’t work by the rule if and when it involves them.

    How can this Umno-led BN government be serious in eradicating corruption – a propaganda gimmick in all their govt/crony-controlled tv/radio stations when they are all into it?

    Didn’t Shahrizat give the hint recently, she’s not alone? Don’t play-play with her. Think the whole bunch of them aren’t afraid she will spill the beans and tear them all apart?
    You can be assured they are all sh*tting bricks right now! …while Rafidah is having her last laugh, LOL!!!!

  24. #24 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 10:32 pm

    MACC and the Police have been taking action based on political expediency; just look at TBH case againt the Cow-gate. Their fear of the Christians as a group is based on thier influence in East Malaysia. East Malaysians have been ‘easy’ meat all these years and now with the Christian leaders becoming more out-spoken, their flocks may suddenly awaken. As for the others, economy appears to be more important. As much as PERKASA sipmly assumed their leadership based on faith, so would be the Christian leaders; a swing in East Malaysia wikll surely result in a new tenant at Putrajaya. By the way, I ain’t no Christian and at times, I felt some of their preachers also got carried away!

  25. #25 by Jong on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 - 10:39 pm

    Even Mamak-tua has now zipped up his mouth about NFC after Mamak Shahrizat told him to ‘go fly kite’ and she’s staying put! Think Najis & Co dares to play-play with her ahh?
    She rolled up her sleeves, remember? LOL!!

  26. #26 by Loh on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 12:26 am

    ///The Americans pay RM65,000 for a 2.5 Litre VW Passat – a marvel of modern engineering “Made in Germany “. In Malaysia , you pay RM245,000 for the same car. But lets forget about the VW Passat.///

    That would be alright if the average income, or median income of Malaysians is four times that of Americans. But per capital GDP of Malaysia is only a quater that of America. Thus the hard earned money of ordinary Malaysians who are neither UMNOputras or Chinese or Indian tycoons who were made rich by UMNOputras in their power-sharing scheme is worth one-sixteenth of those earned by Americans.

    Why should Malaysians pay four times the price for cars which are transportable goods? We are made to pay that price because of taxes which are put in place to protect Proton. Besides, AP which the powers-that-be utilized to enrich the extended families serves both to protect Proton, and to make those who yearned for foreign makes pay the AP rent.

    Proton is the national car. Its national status is granted because it was the creation of Mamakthir. Proton needed the status of national car so that Malaysians would have to smart the pains to keep it going. Normally any object which makes the people and the country proud would gain the reputation of national status. In the case of Proton, the national status is needed to protect it from dying a natural death. It is rather similar to the special position created in article 153 for Malays. Non-UMNOputras wish that they leave that position and are proud of their achievements, but UMNOputras wanted it to remain so that they can masquerade as champions of the special position.

    Until UMNOPUTRAS is defeated to head the government Malaysians have no choice but to pay four times or more for the car of its worth.

  27. #27 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 2:24 am

    ///I pray their predisposition to hope will overcome the challenges posed by political demagogues and religious charlatans.///- Dr Paul Tan Chee Eng.
    I am sure this – hope & endurance- has deeper meaning to faithfuls beyond my shallow understanding. However, with respect and within the strict context of persecution versus patience/endurance especially from standpoint of persons outside the faith – the many ordinary people comprising voters who are philistines who have to connect such ethical counsels to contemporary and ordinary felt experience when facing bullies- would the world necessarily be better by just patience and endurance against oppression? If History were any guide, mobs bullies and tyrants must be faced if civilization is to be saved: Now what would have happened if after a Fascist like Hitler who had conquered by blitzkerg large swathes of Europe if Churchill had not rallied the British people never to flag or fail but to “fight on the seas and oceans, …on the beaches and the landing grounds, in the fields and in the streets, in the hills; and never to surrender” or if America and the rest of Free World had not rallied behind Churchill/Britain to fight the Nazis and merely endured and hoped for deliverance of miracle by Hitler being assassinated and dying of sickness?

  28. #28 by dagen on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 9:36 am

    Christians are stirring up trouble in the country said mooooo.

    Christians stirred up trouble when they refused to be drawn in by umno’s instigation. Christians stirred up trouble by remaining calm in the face of umno’s provocation.

    This is umno’s grand logic of stirring up trouble. WTF. But really Dr Paul Tan ought to be more specific and just mention “ABU”. It would be quite enough even if he openly declare that as his personal stand and not as a message to all christians.


  29. #29 by Jong on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 9:50 am

    Looks like those evil-doers who else but Umno/BN are doing a patch work manufacturing ‘blames’ for their timely use!

    It has been 12 hrs and my comment at 10.15pm 27Dec11 is still under moderation, YB?

  30. #30 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 10:00 am

    Ho, ho, ho, Perkosa iBra now demanded d gomen 2 charge people like Rev Eu with sedition – a big fat Xmas present fr iBra n Perkosa

  31. #31 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 10:16 am

    IS IT TRUE dat d “Transformasi Najib” book (RM13.90) is being distributed FREE 2 UM students at KKUM? 2 brain wash UM students 2 b grateful 2 ‘great leader’ n UmnoB/BN?

  32. #32 by monsterball on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 11:58 am

    Check out today’s Star paper.
    Arrest on corruptions with photos.
    Najib is telling Malaysian he is catching crooks.
    This can be a sort of shutting PR’s mouth speaking on corruption issues in the coming 13th GE.
    One thing you can tip your hat off to UMNO b’s crooks.
    They do plan how to win votes with all sorts of stunts.

  33. #33 by Godfather on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 12:26 pm

    Rev Eu says he will clamp up to avoid “muddying the waters”. This is the problem with our religious leaders. They don’t seem to understand that in Bolehland, he who speaks the loudest gets the most attention, and becomes the most believed. Reverend, you go call for a press conference, and tell Ibrahim Katak to go jump into Tasik Chini. You tell all the Perkasa toads to get lost and take English lessons. You meet them head on, and not cower like the MCA leaders or the Gerakan leaders.

  34. #34 by monsterball on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 12:51 pm

    Ibrahim Ali is demanding Rev Eu be arrested.
    If you notice from the photo published in Malaysiakini of the group of his members..supporting him…sitting and supporting him…all are fat with big bellies.
    All Najib needs is to feed them with best food and they will dance to anything tune he plays.

  35. #35 by dagen on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 2:20 pm

    /// All Najib needs is to feed them with best food and they will dance to anything tune he plays. /// Monsterball.

    Hey big brother, it is more like ibrahim bin perkasa telling jib to “sit jib, sit” or “jump jib, jump”.

  36. #36 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 2:42 pm

    Considering the potential political repercussions,I doubt Rev.Eu will be charged for sedition.Actually it is a good thing they go ahead with the charge as PR will get more votes.

  37. #37 by Comrade on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 - 3:05 pm

    yes, drngsc #3

    It also means that we must work hard
    To overcome the evil in our midst
    People, rise up and play well your card
    Let PR win with a simple majority at least

    High time to make the right choice
    PR will give us a better future
    With BN defeated, we will all rejoice
    Long Live the People’s Power

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