The early 1980's were a turbulent time for Christians in Malaysia. Such constraints arose including the partial ban of the Malay Language Bible (only Christians were allowed to purchase and own one since 1981,) the limitation of the number of worship sites affecting the status of independent churches, and the outlaw of public gatherings of five or more people. These challenges created the need for a credible united evangelical voice which resulted in the formation of the National Evangelical Fellowship (NECF) Malaysia in 1983.
Today, the NECF Malaysia represents evangelical protestant believers in the country of which 9.2% are Christians. NECF Malaysia serves as a platform to fellowship and partner with churches in missions, evangelism, Bible teaching and social action.
NECF Malaysia's Secretary General Samuel Ang shared with the WEA current projects political and societal projects they are involved in.
NEFC Malaysia General Secretary - Samuel Ang.
WEA: What are your vision and goals for the Fellowship?
Ang: The NECF's nation-building agenda is "Transforming the Nation through the Local Church." It is our vision to see Christians within the nation live out their purpose as agents of transformation.
Our emphasis will be in the areas of Economic Sufficiency, Social Peace, Public Justice and National Righteousness.
WEA: What praises can we thank God for from this last month or year?
Ang: There are three main groups - Catholics, the WCC and Evangelicals - represented together under the umbrella of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM). There have been many false accusations of Christians subverting the faith and belief of Muslims. In fact, Christians have remained calm and united, requesting for prayer support, as well as responding to these falsities in a positive and constructive manner bearing impact on our society.
WEA: Do you have some examples of the positive impact the Alliance is making in your region?
Ang: The NECF is on the forefront of issues relating to Public Justice and National Righteousness. There is a movement to promote ethical living within the business and political community. The quest for greater democratic space and religious liberty is now a high priority in view of our stand during the "allah" and "aliktab" controversy. Much more can be done and we look forward to WEA giving us moral support as Malaysia has become the centre of Islamic activities spilling over to the neighbouring regions.
We advocate for churches and challenge young people to develop a Christian world view. We are undertake projects like Vocational Centres and Character Development for youth.
WEA: Can you give some examples of public engagement with your local community?
Ang: We participate in inter-faith/religious dialogue and collaboration with non-Muslim religious groups (approximately 35% of the population.) We work with various civil society groups on issues of ethics, corruption, governance and free and fair elections as well as for greater religious liberty.
WEA: Do you have any photos of your staff and ministries?
Ang: Our ministries and activities are featured and downloadable in our NECF Berita. Please visit our websitehttp://www.necf.org.my
WEA: Do you know about the WEA Leadership Institute (LI) and all that it offers? Do you have any suggestions to make the LI courses easier to access from your region?
Ang: One of our Council Member, Rev. Chan Theam Lai enrolled in the Effective Public Engagement which he found exciting and helpful .
WEA: What are some prayer requests we can post on the site?
Ang: Pray for NECF to be strategic in its thinking and response.
Pray for effective representation of evangelicals as well as for strengthening membership and their active participation.
Pray for our local Churches and congregations to know how to appreciate their Pastors and families.
Pray for our Pastors and their families to be freed from any sense of insecurity as a result of the nature of their work and to be anointed afresh as they continue to serve their congregation faithfully.
For more prayer request, please visit our Prayer Bulletin at http://www.necf.org.my
7th NECF Tamil Pastors and Leaders Conference, March 15-16, Subang Jaya, Malaysia - Participation over 650 delegates from over the country.