On February 13, 2017, Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was murdered in the Kuala Lumpur airport. Within five days, Malaysian police were able to identify and apprehend the culprits. They credited CCTV footage for the quick capture.
Also on February 13, 2017 in Malaysia, a car driven by Pastor Raymond Koh was surrounded by at least 15 masked men driving black 4×4 vehicles, and Pastor Koh was kidnapped. The kidnapping happened on public streets, and CCTV footage from both sides of the street recorded the event.
Almost three years later, Malaysian authorities still claim they have no information about the suspicious disappearance of Malaysian Pastor Raymond Koh.
That is why Voice of the Martyrs Korea is encouraging Korean Christians and Christians around the world to support his family by signing our petition to pressure the Malaysian government to uncover the truth.
When Pastor Koh’s wife, Susanna, went to file a report about her missing husband, they focused their questions on whether he had encouraged Muslims to convert to Christianity. Although Malaysia works to portray itself as a ‘moderate’ Muslim nation, converting from Islam to Christianity has become especially controversial in recent years, with many politicians advocating for stronger adherence to Islamic law. Authorities seem to be more concerned about Pastor Koh’s Christian faith than his kidnapping.
Mrs. Koh had to go door-to-door around the area where witnesses last saw Pastor Koh, asking if anyone had CCTV footage of what had happened. Eventually, she found the footage. The first time she watched, Mrs. Koh was shocked.
“It was very professionally done. I couldn’t believe it. I think someone powerful must have ordered my husband’s kidnapping,” Mrs. Koh says.
It is believed that Pastor Koh’s kidnapping may be related to several prior threats he received. Pastor Koh ran a charity organization called Harapan Komuniti (Hope Community) which cared for impoverished single mothers, children, drug addicts, and those who were diagnosed with AIDS.
Some Muslims were upset by the program, viewing it as a trick to convert people to Christianity.
During a dinner the charity hosted in 2011, thirty officers from the Selangor Islamic department stormed in and took photographs of everyone in attendance. Shortly afterwards, the couple began receiving death threats.
The couple also received an envelope labeled “ANTHRAX” and filled with white powder. They also received a parcel containing bullets. Despite this, Pastor Koh continued his ministry.
After Pastor Koh’s disappearance, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) began an independent investigation. In May 2018, a police whistleblower named Sergeant Shamzaini Mohamed Daud came forward, claiming that the Malaysian Special Branch (Cawangan Khas) was involved in Koh’s disappearance. Within that same month, Sergeant Daud lodged a police report denying he had made such claims.
The Kohs continue to follow the judicial process in Malaysia, but there is little hope that it will yield meaningful information or action on its own.
That’s where you can help.
Here is your opportunity to stand together with the wife and family of a truly dedicated servant of God who disappeared nearly three years ago without a trace. Christians around the world are signing a petition urging the Malaysian government to reveal what they know. Voice of the Martyrs Korea is calling on Korean Christians to join their brothers and sisters globally in calling for the whole truth to be revealed.
The online petition is available for signature from now through the end of 2019 at https://vomkorea.com/en/freepastorkoh/. (The petition is also available in Korean, Russian, and Chinese by clicking the flags in the upper right hand corner, so if you have friends in any of those language groups, please share the link with them so that they can sign–and encourage their friends to sign–also.)
Dr. Foley and I plan to deliver the petition to the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul early in the New Year, as the Lord permits.