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Four Finns detained in Malaysia for handing out Christian material

Authorities arrested the group on suspicion of distributing pamphlets containing Biblical verses.

The New Straits Times-lehden uutinen aiheesta.
Screen capture of the New Straits Times article on the arrest. Image: The New Straits Times, Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Four Finns were arrested at a hotel in Malaysia’s Langkawi district on Tuesday, allegedly for handing out religious material. The group comprised two men and two women between the ages of 27 and 60.

A senior police official interviewed by the English-language New Straits Times told the paper that a complainant claimed to have seen the members of the group distributing the material to traders on Sunday.

In addition to arresting the Finns, police also seized a total of 336 pamphlets containing Bible verses, as well as pens and two suitcases.

The group are now being held in pre-trial detention. Police reportedly received three complaints about the foursome.

The police spokesperson said that the Finns had arrived in Langkawi last Sunday and planned to leave the district on Thursday.

Christian missionary work and the distribution of Christian material are strictly forbidden in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Violation of the country’s laws relating to the practices could fetch a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.

The case was first reported in Finland by the dailies Turun Sanomat and Ilta-Sanomat.

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