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Catholics sue to build church in Malaysia

The Catholic Church in Malaysia has filed a lawsuit to receive permission to build a new church, despite repeated denials by a state government.

Catholic World News reports that the parish in the state capital of Shah Alam has sought to build a new church for ten years, with the Selangor state government changing its mind three times. In December, Selangor asked the building committee to consider a new site in an industrial park two kilometers from the location it had already approved.

Committee chairman J.V. Rao said the church had already spent more than $A25,869 to prepare the current site. He said the Church requested a judicial challenge of the decision on behalf of the 3000 to 5000 Catholics in the area "hoping that it will at least make (the government) respond."

Malaysia's official religion is Islam but non-Muslims-- mostly Buddhists, Christians and Hindus-- have enjoyed freedom of religion, but concern has been growing of an increased pressure against non-Muslims.