Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An event to warm your heart: MAIS visits Catholic Church

Officers from MAIS

Several officers from the Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS, also known as the Selangor Islamic Religious Council), the official religious authority of the Malaysian state of Selangor, paid a historic visit to the Catholic Church of the Holy Rosary on July 26. On hand to receive them were Fr Michael Chua, the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (AMEIA) and Dr William Lau, the chairman of the Parish Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of Holy Rosary Church, and former chairman of AMEIA. The contingent from MAIS had initiated this visit through IIS (Islamic Information Services), an Islamic Dakwah NGO that has been actively engaged in interreligious activities with leaders from other non-Muslim religions. IIS was represented by its Secretary General, Mrs Sabariah Abdullah and its Chief Dakwah Officer, Mr Shah Kirit.

Ustaz Abdul Halem Hapiz bin Salihin, the Deputy Secretary of MAIS, in his opening remarks before the dialogue session between MAIS officers and Fr Chua, said that this courtesy visit was part of MAIS efforts to promote interreligious harmony with non-Muslim religions. in answer to the call of HRH, the Sultan of Selangor, for the state religious body to be more accessible to the Malaysian public, including adherents of other religions. He also said that MAIS was planning visit to other religious places of worship and to initiate dialogue with other religious leaders in order to promote harmony and mutual respect.

Ustaz Halem noted that Islam had a history of religious tolerance, citing the example of Ummayad Caliphate. He also said that Islam forbade the destruction and desecration of places of worship of other religions.

The visit began with a tour of the historically and aesthetically significant Church of the Holy Rosary. The tour was led by Dr Rozalini, a former member of AMEIA, who gave detailed explanation of the stained glass windows, stations of the cross, and other architectural features of the Church's interior.

After a short tea break, Dr William Lau, gave a brief presentation on the historical background of AMEIA, its foundation, goals and activities. Thereafter, Fr Chua took questions from the officers, which ranged from matters such as the significance of holy water, the discipline of priestly celibacy, the ethnic composition of the Church in Malaysia to deeper theological issues such as inspiration of the scriptures and the Trinity.

The session ended with an invitation from Fr Chua to MAIS to consider other avenues of cooperation. He also invited them to visit churches in the state of Selangor and also mentioned the possibility of attending Mass at a Church on Sunday.

[Source: The Herald]

I wonder why this piece of good news did not appear in the Utusan or other msm.

1 comment:

  1. so do i. what came out in the news was "harta rakyat dirompak" - korek pasir