Public inquiry into another pastor disappearance
A public inquiry is underway in Malaysia into another pastor who has disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth went missing in November 2016. He was being investigated after converting from Islam to Christianity.
The couple disappeared after he asked to change his religion on his identity card from Muslim to Christian.
A witness told the inquiry that Pastor Joshua believed he was wanted by an unnamed religious authority.
Pastor Joshua and Ruth were born in 1969. Ruth is an Indonesian national. Their disappearance is being investigated by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
Suhakam is also looking into the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh, and a Shia activist, Amri Che Mat. The Human Rights Commission believes both were kidnapped by agents working for the state. And in the case of Raymond Koh, they say the evidence points to abduction by Special Branch.
Release International has launched a petition pressing Malaysia to investigate the disappearance of Pastor Koh and set him free.
Extraordinary CCTV footage shows the Pastor being abducted in a military-style operation in February 2017. He hasn’t been seen since.
Three black SUVs boxed in his car, forcing it to a halt. 15 men are said to have been involved in the kidnapping.
You can watch the video on YouTube here.
Pastor Koh’s wife Susanna told Release International’s sister organisation Voice of the Martyrs (USA): ‘I believe Raymond would count it worthy to suffer for Christ.
‘Pray that the church in Malaysia would be strong in the face of persecution and speak out for truth and justice. Pray for them that they can bless their enemies and love them into the kingdom.’
Pastor Koh ran Hope Community, an organisation set up in the capital Kuala Lumpur to help the poorest members of society. The authorities accused him of trying to convert Muslims. Soon afterwards, he was sent bullets and a death threat.
Release is petitioning the Malaysian Prime Minister and the Inspector General of Police. ‘There has been no word whether Pastor Koh is dead or alive. We’re demanding his immediate release and safe return to his family,’ says Release CEO Paul Robinson. ‘And we’re calling for justice. Those responsible for his disappearance must be held accountable.’
The inquiry into the disappearance of Joshua and Ruth Hilmy is expected to continue until April 29.