Christian organizations in Malaysia are accusing the government of defacing more than 5,000 Bibles by stamping them with serial numbers and the words “For Christians Only.”
The government agreed earlier this week to release 35,000 Malay-language Bibles that had been held in customs since 2009 because they use the word “Allah” for God.
A court ruled that year that religions other than Islam have the right to use the word Allah for God, but the government in the Muslim-majority country is appealing the ruling.
Government officials say this week’s decision to release the Bibles was meant as a gesture of good will. But Christian leaders said Thursday they are offended by the stamps that were placed in more than 5,000 of the Bibles.
The Associated Press quoted a statement issued by the Christian Federation of Malaysia saying the nation’s Christian community “is deeply hurt that the government has desecrated and defaced the Bible.”