Converts to non-Islamic faiths in Malaysia can be detained for more than three months in ‘Faith Purification Centers.’
While some converts are arbitrarily arrested and sent to the centers, detention in one of the three camps is “slowly gaining preference among sharia judges in Malaysia” as an alternative to prison sentencing, Mohd Al Adib Samuri of the National University of Malaysia wrote in 2013.
It is difficult to find descriptions of life in the centers, but one former detainee’s account, smuggled out of Malaysia and published in India, describes how she was taken from her workplace, interrogated, and then placed in one of the religious rehabilitation centers – all on the same day, and without legal representation or court proceedings. The young woman reported that when she asked for a lawyer, authorities told her she didn’t need one.
Supposedly there to be ‘re-educated,’ she was surprised to find nothing was actually taught, according to her account in ‘Pearls of Great Price”’ by R. Hunt (OM Press India 2010, reprinted 2014). The warden and staff quickly discovered that she knew more about Islam than they did, and instead of teaching anything, they tried to entice her back to Islam with the ‘charm approach,’ the author notes.
‘Folk Islam, with its attendant black magic, was in play here,’ Hunt writes.
Though the center was filled with male drug addicts, she was an obedient and respectful prisoner. After many months, the warden told her to write a description of her conversion to Christianity, instructing her to blame Christians for fraudulently or forcibly converting her. Instead, she wrote the truth of genuinely placing her faith in Christ. The warden tore it up three times and then caned her, which she endured quietly.
Several weeks later, she miraculously escaped during a rainstorm that knocked out electrical power.
(Source: Morning Star News)