An international group serving persecuted Christians has drawn attention to the unsolved case of Malaysian Pastor Raymond Koh, who has been missing since he was abducted in a well-organized, military-style operation four years ago after being accused of preaching to Muslims.
“For four years, he’s been neither seen nor heard from. For four years, his family has suffered, worried and fought for answers,” says The Voice of the Martyrs in a statement sent to The Christian Post, recalling Koh’s abduction on Feb. 13, 2017, while driving near Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Muslim country in Southeast Asia.
Koh, who is ethnically Chinese, founded Hope Community, a nonprofit to serve the poor and underprivileged along with his wife. In 2011, authorities accused Koh of seeking to convert Muslims — an act forbidden by law in Malaysia. Though the allegations against Koh were dropped, bullets were later sent to his home as a warning.
Koh’s 40-second abduction was captured on surveillance cameras (watch here), but neither Koh nor his car has ever been found. Koh was driving in the Petaling Jaya area when his car was surrounded by three black SUVs, forced to a sudden stop and he was abducted.
A task force was formed after Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission found in 2019 that Malaysia’s Special Branch intelligence service was likely behind Koh and Muslim social activist Amri Che's disappearances.
“Another year has gone by,” VOM’s spokesperson Todd Nettleton said. “Yet no arrests have been made, no one has been held accountable, and there is still no explanation for what happened to him. His family deserves answers.”
Last January, Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs said that the task force needed more time to prepare its report.
VOM said the motive for the pastor’s “forced disappearance centers around Koh’s strong Christian faith and particularly allegations that he evangelized ethnic-Malay Muslims — a crime under the southeast Asian nation’s strict Islamic legal code.”
Last March, Pastor Koh’s wife, Susanna Liew, was honored with the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award. “Despite police harassment and death threats, she continues to advocate for her husband and others, not because of her faith or theirs, but because of their rights as Malaysians,” a State Department press release said at the time.
In 2019, VOM launched a petition called Release Raymond, calling on Christians around the world to demand that the Malaysian government reveal the truth.
“We, pastor Raymond’s fellow Christians from around the world, call on your government to release any and all information related to the forced disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, including any involvement of policemen from the Special Branch,” the petition read in part. “We demand pastor Raymond’s immediate release and safe return to his family. Finally, we call for justice. Those responsible for his disappearance must be held accountable for this inhumane crime.”
VOM says it has launched a site for Koh, and more than 65,200 people have signed the petition, which will be hand-delivered to the Malaysian embassy in Washington, D.C.
Malaysia is 56% Muslim and less than 10% Christian.