Malaysian court tells convert she must stay Muslim

Convert could be jailed for apostasy
A Malaysian woman who converted to Christianity and waged a seven-year fight to legalize the change now stands in danger of being jailed for apostasy after the Muslim-majority country’s highest court ruled that she does not have a constitutional right to convert from Islam.

Lina Joy, said to be Malaysia’s best-known Christian convert and believed to be in hiding, had taken her case to a Malaysian federal court, which decided in a 2-1 decision May 30 that she could not remove “Islam” from the religion category of her government identity card.

“She cannot simply at her own whims enter or leave her religion. She must follow rules,” said Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim. “Apostasy is a matter linked to Islamic laws. Civil courts cannot interfere.”


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