Malaysian magazine regrets hurting Christians

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian magazine Al-Islam has apologised for “unintentionally hurting the feelings of Christians, particularly Catholics” in a special report last year.

A three-paragraph apology posted on its website said the report was to investigate allegations of apostasy. It said the actions of its reporters who attended a Catholic congregation posing as Christians “were never intended to deride the Christian faith, let alone desecrate their house of worship”.

“The two reporters involved also tendered their apology for not realising that what they have done in the course of their assignment has offended the feelings of Christians,” The Star newspaper reported Sunday.

Al-Islam’s report, “Finding the truth on teenage Malay apostates”, was published in its May 2009 issue. The journalists had posed as Christians and participated in a mass at the St Anthony’s Church here.

The reporters were said to have admitted to receiving the Holy Communion then spitting it out, an act Catholics consider as sacrilege.

Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam said he was pleased with the quick response by the publishers, editors and authors.

“We accept their apology and extend our hand in peace. The Catholic community is now at peace following the apology. May God bless our country,” he said.

Malaysia has a significant Christian minority that is part of a multi-ethnic 28 million population.

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