One year ago this month, Malaysian pastor Raymond Koh was abducted in the middle of the day on a busy street. Witnesses said that several black SUVs surrounded Pastor Koh and took him from his car with “military-like” precision. Pastor Koh hasn’t been seen since.
The pastor’s family has been in the spotlight over the past year, using those opportunities to call for a fair and thorough investigation into his abduction and to speak out against the way the case has been handled by Malaysian police. Many people suspect that a powerful Islamic group is responsible for Pastor Koh’s abduction, and because of this, police have been slow to act. Pastor Koh’s family has also been questioned about the pastor’s activities with non-Christians, specifically Muslims, further complicating the investigation into his disappearance.
Pastor Koh is well known in Malaysia for his humanitarian work among people whom society typically casts aside, including single mothers, drug addicts, and people with HIV. He and his family have diligently served their community for many years and shown the love of Christ through their service.
Recently, the family had a flicker of hope when the Malaysia Human Rights Commission launched a public inquiry into the pastor’s disappearance. As the commission conducted interviews and reviewed evidence, they uncovered evidence detailing the moment of the abduction and revealing more about the people responsible.
After just 11 days into the public inquiry, the commission received a letter from the Malaysian police to halt their investigation. In what appears to be a suspicious arrest of a man formerly cleared in the abduction case, the police now claim that the public inquiry cannot continue while the case is pending in court.
Many in Malaysia are frustrated at this new turn of events, especially after a year of not knowing what really happened to Pastor Koh. Yet another wall has been put up by Malaysian police to block people from finding out who is responsible for the pastor’s disappearance.
While Pastor Koh’s case is well known, he is not the only Christian in Malaysia to be abducted in recent years. At least three other individuals have also been taken in a similar “military-like” manner and, just as with Pastor Koh, all are still missing. These disappearances have shaken the church in Malaysia, as many fear what might happen to them if they are suspected of ministering to Muslims and other non-Christians.
Please pray for Pastor Raymond Koh and his family. Ask that he might be found and that his captors might be brought to justice. Pray also for his family as they wait for news of what happened to him. Pray for them to be bold witnesses for Christ even during this difficult time.
In addition, pray that the three other Christians who were abducted in the last few years would be freed and reunited with their families.
Many Christians in Malaysia fear that they will face the same fate as those who have been abducted. Pray for the church to be strong and to reach out to non-Christians with the hope of the gospel.