About 50 residents gathered outside a new church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya today to demand that the cross affixed to the house of worship be removed as it was “challenging Islam”, The Star Online reported today.
According to the news portal, the locals demonstrated peacefully during the church service at 10am for the cross to be taken down.
The protesters said the presence of a cross in a Muslim-majority area posed a challenge to the religion and could sway the faith of the youth, The Star Online reported.
The news portal reported a village leader later pacified the group and spoke with the church’s priest on their behalf.
“After meeting with the priest, the church agreed to take down the cross by next Sunday. If they have the authority to run, we cannot stop it,” the group’s leader, Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar, was quoted as saying.
“But we ask out of concern, being a Malay area, that they take down the cross.”
Police reportedly arrived on the scene at 10.30am to manage the crowd, just as the Sunday service was ending.
The Star Online reported that the cross was taken down by church leaders a few hours after the protest.
This was not the first time a protest was held against a church.
On November 2, 2014, Muslim NGO, Pertubuhan Sahabat organised a demonstration to protest the construction of the four-storey Praise Emmanuel Assembly church in Petaling Jaya.
The NGO said there were already three churches in the vicinity, adding it was not appropriate in a neighbourhood that counted 70% of its residents as Muslim.
The group had demonstrated at the church building site at Jalan PJS 8/9, saying that building a four-storey church in the area would be an insult to the Muslims living there.