Abducted Pastor: No Word
Security cameras only captured the scuffling feet of at least five men as they pulled Pastor Raymond Koh from his Honda Accord and pushed him into a nearby SUV. The Feb. 13 abduction took less than a minute in broad daylight near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city.
The abductors used three SUVs to force Raymond to stop his vehicle in the middle of the road. Masked men jumped out of the SUVs, grabbed him and stole his car. As his abductors sped away, video surveillance showed four other vehicles assisting the kidnappers by controlling traffic. Though at least 15 people were involved, police have been unable to locate any suspects.
Raymond Koh and his wife, Susanna Liew, with their children several years ago. (Facebook)
After more than a month has gone by with no word from the well-regarded pastor, his wife of more than 30 years and his adult children are very concerned. Typically, kidnappers demand a ransom, but despite a large reward offered by the family, they’ve heard nothing. Even so, the family continues to hope in the Lord.
Several hundred people joined Susanna and her children at a candlelight vigil held recently to pray for Raymond’s safe return. A VOM worker who worked with Raymond described him as “one of the most effective evangelists in the region.”
Some believe that Raymond’s outreach efforts to the Malay people may be the reason he was abducted. The pastor founded a community center to help the poor, and over the last twelve years, the center has provided free tuition for students and English lessons for adults. All are welcome, including the majority Malay people, who are required by law to be Muslim. It is illegal for Malays to convert in Malaysia.
More than five years ago, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) accused the pastor of converting Malays to Christianity. The pastor was questioned, but the case was ultimately dismissed for lack of evidence. At the same time, the pastor was receiving anonymous death threats.
Currently, investigators are looking into whether any recent threats have been made.
Susanna has publicly asked for continued prayer for her husband’s safe recovery and that her family will not lose hope.
VOM sources, World Watch Monitor