Malaysia: Christian has 'Islam' removed from ID card

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A Malaysian Christian raised in a family of Muslims has finally been permitted to have "Islam" removed from his identity card.

According to Barnabas Aid, Malaysia's High Court has just ruled that Roneey Rebit can now officially be rid of Islam. Although Rebit was born in Sarawak -- a state where Christians are the majority religious group -- his parents converted to Islam when he was only eight years old. But when he was baptized as a Christian in 1999, a lengthy legal battle began for Rebit to be registered as a Christian.

Malaysia requires everyone's religion to be stated on their identity card, but this can create problems for anyone from an Islamic background who embraces another faith. Although its constitution guarantees freedom of worship, Malaysia has a dual legal system composed of civil and sharia courts where the latter can legally prevent Christian converts from removing "Islam" from their identity cards.

The judge in Sarawak ruled in Rebit's favor on the grounds that he had not personally chosen to embrace Islam. But this ruling doesn't apply to Malaysia's other states, which all have Muslim majorities.