Where is Pastor Raymond Koh? Family Asks International Community to Pray for Safe Recovery

( [email protected] ) Apr 04, 2017 11:40 AM EDT
The family of Raymond Koh has asked the international community to continue praying for his safe recovery as the search for the missing Malaysian pastor enters a second month.
Pastor Raymond Koh disappeared in February, arousing fears he may have been murdered. One month after his abduction, his wife has said she has suffered feelings of "numbness, despair, hope, sadness, fear and anger" and urged the international community to continue praying for his safe recovery. change.org

The family of Raymond Koh has asked the international community to continue praying for his safe recovery as the search for the missing Malaysian pastor enters a second month.

"It has been a difficult time for us as a family. We still do not have news about what has happened to him," Koh's wife, Susanna Liew, said during a two-hour interfaith prayer vigil held on Sunday at Padang Merdeka.

"I want to know why he was snatched from us this way and who is behind this. After 50 days of silence does anyone question why I am crying for answers? For justice," she said.

She added that her family was praying for Pastor Koh to be rescued and reunited with them and urged the international community to do likewise.

As earlier reported by The Gospel Herald, Pastor Koh, 62, was abducted by suspected Islamic extremists from a street while on his way to a friend's house. Leaked CCTV footage of the attack shows a military-style, professionally executed operation in which seven cars and at least 15 men took part.

The pastor's car was seen turning off a highway as three black SUVs surrounded it and forced it to a stop. At least eight men in black emerged from the SUVs, and another man emerged from a car behind them to record the operation. The entire operation took a mere 40 seconds.

Through tears, Koh's daughter, Esther, said the pastor was a "good father" and said she continues to question how the abduction could have been carried out in broad daylight in less than a minute.

Speaking on Sunday, she questioned why the case has remained unresolved despite the CCTV footage. Like her mother, she asked for continued prayers.

"Pray for our family that we will be strong in facing the challenges and for the case to be resolved," she said.

Koh's family has heard nothing from the kidnappers and now fears the worst; Koh's son, Jonathan, filed a second police report on suspicion that his father was murdered by Muslim extremists. He explained that the reason for the report was the lack of information or a ransom demand, even though the family had offered a reward of about $22,500.

The Malaysian government has received criticism for its seeming lack of interest regarding the case. In a statement released in March, the Malaysian Bar Council said it was troubled by the "little headway" that police have made in locating the missing pastor.

"The Malaysian Bar is troubled by the continued failure and inability of the police to locate and secure the safe release of Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo," said Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. "Although a month has passed since the abduction, the police appear to have made little headway in locating the missing pastor and/or apprehending his abductors." 

The pastor has been targeted by Muslim extremists in the past; in 2011, his non-governmental organization Harapan Komuniti was accused of proselytizing Muslims by Selangor's Islamic Religious Department (Jais), according to Channel News Asia. It conducted a raid on his event at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church but the accusation proved to be false.

Following the incident, the NGO, which provides aid to single mothers, drug addicts and HIV patients, among others, received at least one death threat. At the time, Koh even received a bullet sent to his home.

Tags : Raymond Koh, Pastor Raymond Koh, Raymond Koh Update, Malaysia, Malaysia pastor abduction, Susanna Koh, kidnap, Muslim, muslim extremist