PPUTRAJAYA, Malaysia – The highest court Monday (June 23rd) dismissed a bid by the Catholic Church for the right to use the word "Allah", AFP reported.
The government had banned use of "Allah" in the local Malay-language edition of the Church's Herald newspaper. Use of the word angered Muslims, who said Christians were overstepping religious boundaries.
The seven-judge panel upheld a lower court decision siding with the government. Worshippers can still use "Allah" to refer to God in church, a government spokesman later clarified. Christian groups in Malaysia say they have been doing so for centuries.
Lawyers for the Catholic Church said they would explore further ways to challenge the ban, expressing fears the ruling could be used as a precedent to curtail religious freedom.