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4th church firebombed in Allah dispute

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Protests over 'Allah' ruling
  • Muslims oppose recent court ruling allowing a Catholic newspaper to use the word "Allah" for God
  • 60 percent of the people in Malaysia are Muslim, while 9 percent are Christian
  • The four churches attacked are in Kuala Lumpur region of the country
  • Malaysia
  • Islam

(CNN) -- Attackers firebombed another church in Malaysia on Saturday, the latest violence amid widespread Muslim rage over the Christian use of the word Allah as a term for God.

The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in southwestern Kuala Lumpur received minor damage to its front porch, but no injuries were reported.

It follows the firebombings of three other churches late Thursday and early Friday. Only one of those, Metro Tabernacle, was badly damaged.

The acts stirred unease in the diverse society -- which is 60 percent Muslim, 19 percent Buddhist, 9 percent Christian and 6 percent Hindu -- and political leaders from a range of parties deplored attempts to burn down the churches.

The violence comes as Muslims protest a recent court ruling that allowed a Catholic newspaper to use the word "Allah" for God. Muslims believe Allah, an Arabic word, should only be used by Muslims.

The ruling was stayed after the government appealed the decision, according to Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency.

Prime Minister Najib Razak visited Metro Tabernacle on Saturday and called for calm.

He also announced a government contribution of 500,000 ringgit, or more than $148,000, to have Metro Tabernacle relocated.

Emphasizing his resolve to maintain ethnic and racial harmony in society, Razak also said the Muslim faith prohibits insulting other religions or destroying their sanctuaries.