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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Women's World Day of Prayer

Our annual local service, to be held at 2.15pm on Friday 2nd March - and followed by refreshments, is at the United Reform Church, Darras Hall. Our speaker is Mrs. Andrea Mayland.
Malaysia is a land of diverse faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam - the official religion, and Christianity - which centres in Sabah and Sarawak. The Portuguese brought Christianity there in the 16th Century. Local churches include Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians and several others. They work ecumenically, interacting between church and state. The Women’s Work Committee, linked to this, organised this year's service.   Malaysian Christian Association for Relief, and non-profit making, provides social concern for the poor, and those in need, including prisoners, drug addicts and HIV and AIDS patients.
Women have made important social and economic contributions to their country, and are achieving a higher level of education. However, women of all races and classes face discrimination and violence. Only 40% of working age women have jobs. Their participation in decision- making roles is low. Boys are valued more highly than girls in their society.
In Sarawak, which became independent 45 years ago, their role and status has undergone great changes. Many now have access to education.  It is hoped that this will a starting point to further the status and involvement of women nationally.
Malaysia’s multi- ethnicity has given it a rich heritage, but has also led to many problems and challenges.   Justice for all is the hope and prayer of the people.