Activists gathered outside the court ahead of the ruling (Photo courtesy: Reuters/BBC)
The Federal Court of Malaysia has refused the country’s Roman Catholic Church leave to appeal the ban against the use of the word “Allah” in the Church’s weekly newspaper, The Herald.
According to reports, 4 of the 7-member bench dismissed the church’s application for appeal, stating that the Court of Appeal was right in its decision to ban the word.
In a media release, the Christian Federation of Malaysia expressed their disappointment at the Federal Court verdict, stating that such decisions could result in serious negative repercussions for the freedom of religion in the country.
On 14 October 2014, the Court of Appeal in Malaysia ruled that non-Muslims could not use the word "Allah" to refer to God. In the verdict, the Court of Appeal expressed the opinion that all religions should be practiced in peace and harmony with Islam as it was the official religion of the Federation.