Home About Malaysia Religion Religion in Malaysia

Religion in Malaysia


Malaysia is multicultural and multiconfessional. The dominant religion in Malaysia is Islam, whose followers make up 60 per cent of the population. Islam is recognised as the state religion of Malaysia, although the country has a secular constitution. Debate exists about whether Malaysia should be a secular or Islamic state, with politics often becoming entwined with religion. Due to contention with an Islamic opposition, the ruling government has slowly become more Islamic, with Islam beginning to have more influence over day to day life in Malaysia. The government promotes the spread of Islam, which is under the control of individual states.

Religion often follows ethnic lines, with most Muslims being Malays. The code of Islam enforced is Sunni. Islam was introduced by traders, becoming firmly established in the 15th century. The government promotes a moderate form of Islam known as Islam Hadhari. Any teaching which deviates from the official Sunni code is illegal, and no other forms of Islam are allowed. The country has both civil and Shariah courts, with all muslims having to follow Shariah laws. These are enforced by the government and police forces.

The large Chinese population in Malaysia practices a mix of beliefs, with influences from traditional Chinese religions such as Buddhism and Daoism. Hinduism is practised by the majority of Malaysian Indians. In recent years the government has demolished many Hindu temples, causing concern among the Indian population. Christianity has established itself in some communities, especially in East Malaysia. It is not tied to any specific ethnic group. Other religions, such as Baha'i and Sikhism also have adherents in Malaysia.

Relations between different religious groups are generally quite tolerant. Christmas, Chinese New Year, and Deepavali have been declared national holidays alongside Islamic holidays. Various groups have been set up to try and promote religious understanding among the different groups, with religious harmony seen as a priority by Malaysian politicians. However, it is illegal to convert Muslims to other religions, and disputes have arisen over the use of the word "Allah" for God in religions other than Islam. Restrictions on religious freedom exist, especially for Muslims, who are often not allowed to legally convert to other religions, and are forced into rehabilitation camps if they attempt to.

Read more

 


Related news items:

Bukit Bintang ...
Petronas Twin Towers ...
Kuala Lumpur ...
Penang ...
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur ...
Malacca ...
Kelantan ...
Taman Negara ...

Malaysia 


Ads on: Special HTML

New

Written on 30 November 1999, 00.00 by Administrator
  The forest based fibres such as rattan bamboo, ribu-ribu, bemban, mengkuang and pandanus are...
Written on 30 November 1999, 00.00 by Administrator
  Pewter, Malaysian Souvenirs- Pewter was made popular in Malaysia as Malaysia was a...
Written on 30 November 1999, 00.00 by Administrator
  Batik, Malaysian Souvenirs- Batik is the local language which means "to draw in...
Written on 30 November 1999, 00.00 by Administrator
  Roti canai , Malaysian Souvenirs -Roti canai is a type of flatbread found in Malaysia,...
Written on 30 November 1999, 00.00 by Administrator
  Wayang Kulit , Malaysian Souvenirs -'Wayang Kulit' or shadow play is an old cultural...
Written on 30 November 1999, 00.00 by Administrator
  Wau ,Malaysian Souvenirs--Wau or Kite in Malay is a uniquely designed Malaysian kite that has...