A petition demanding the Malaysian government to publicly release all information concerning the disappearance of pastor Raymond Koh was hand delivered to the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul Thursday by representatives from the Christian persecution ministry, Voice of the Martyrs Korea.
The petition was signed by more than almost 800 Christians from Korea and around the world, through Voice of the Martyrs Korea’s website and at the ministry’s public events featuring members of Pastor Koh’s family in November and December.
Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Foley Hyun Sook and CEO Pastor Eric Foley hand-delivered the petition to Embassy officials. Speaking to media outside the Malaysian Embassy in Seoul, the Foleys said
Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Foley Hyun Sook and CEO Pastor Eric Foley hand-delivered the petition to a Malaysian Embassy official who met them at the Embassy’s front gate. Speaking to media after delivering the petition, the Foleys said the Embassy official thanked them for their concern.
“The official said that transparency was an important value of the new Malaysian government, and that the task force appointed by the government to look into Pastor Koh’s disappearance would soon be releasing its report. The official pledged to release the information to the public.”
Representative Foley said she added a personal message to the official.
“I told him that even one more day of waiting is hard on Pastor Koh’s wife. I urged him to care for the family by releasing all of the information about his kidnapping and current whereabouts.”
The Foleys said Voice of the Martyrs Korea would continue to be in contact with the Embassy to ensure that the Malaysian government lives up to its pledge of transparency regarding Pastor Koh’s disappearance.
Pastor Raymond Koh
On February 13, 2017, as recorded by the CCTV of a nearby home, Pastor Koh’s car was surrounded and he was kidnapped by at least 15 masked men driving black 4×4 vehicles. Since then, there has been no sign of him or the car he was driving. Furthermore, according to Voice of the Martyrs Korea representative Foley Hyun Sook, law enforcement has had a suspicious reaction to the case.
“When Pastor Koh’s wife, Susanna Koh, went to file a report about her missing husband, they asked if he had encouraged Muslims to convert to Christianity,”
“Although we often consider Malaysia to be 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.”
Pastor Raymond Koh’s wife, Susannah Koh, speaks with Korean Christians about her husband’s disappearance.
Pastor Raymond Koh’s daughter, Esther Koh, speaks with Korean Christians about her father’s disappearance.
According to Representative Foley, 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 and said,
“It was very professionally done. I couldn’t believe it. I think someone powerful must have ordered my husband’s kidnapping.”
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. According to Representative Foley, some Muslims were upset by the program, viewing it as a trick to convert people to Christianity.
The petition delivered by VOMK to the Malaysian Embassy Thursday reads:
- Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad
Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
- Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Abdul Hamid bin Bador
Inspector-General of Police
Royal Malaysian Police
Honorable Prime Minister and Inspector-General:
One of your country’s loyal citizens has been missing for almost three years. Pastor Raymond Koh was kidnapped off the streets on Feb. 13, 2017, and has not been seen since. His car has never been found. His wife and children have been left to wonder what happened to him and whether he is still alive.
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.
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.
“In the spirit of Hebrews 13:3, Korean Christians are standing in solidarity with Pastor Raymond Koh and his family,”
Representative Foley said.
“We refuse to let his voice be silenced.”