19 Religious Words Banned
According to the Brunei Times, Asian Shari'ah nation Brunei has banned non-Muslims from using 19 religious words associated with Islam. Christianity Today reports that the banned words include “mu’min” (believer), “solat” (prayer), “Al Quran” (the Koran) and even “Allah” (the generic Arabic term for God, often used by Christians in that area of the world). In addition to the banned words, legal officials announced new punishments and fines for offenses such as adultery, cohabitating, or drinking alcohol in public, should the offenses involve a Muslim ($4,000 fine, a year in prison, or stoning to death in case of convicted adultery). A Muslim who “surrenders his child into the care of a non-Muslim” can receive up to a 5-year jail sentence, or be fined up to $20,000. Brunei, which is known for its harsh implementation of Islamic law and enmity toward pastors and missionaries, moved up to No. 24 from No. 27 on this year’s Open Doors World Watch List.
[TBC: As we have noted in past issues of the newsletter, "Allah" is not an acceptable generic word for God. "Ilah" is. The fact that Muslims object to Christian use of this name is just additional evidence that they recognize "Allah" as being distinct from the God of the Bible.]