Malaysian pastor's family pleads for his release one year after abduction

The family of a Malaysian pastor who was abducted a year ago in broad daylight in Petaling Jaya is still pleading for his release and hoping that they would be reunited in time for the Chinese New Year.

(REUTERS / Bazuki Muhammad)The Dream Centre Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, September 9, 2011.

In a statement issued exactly a year after Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted, his wife Susanna Liew pleaded for her husband's release, saying she wished that their family could be together for the Chinese New Year. Koh, who was taken by masked men in Petaling Jaya on Feb. 13, 2017 in an incident captured by security footage, is still missing, Channel News Asia reports.

"My wish is for Raymond to be released so that he can be reunited with his family especially this Chinese New Year," said Liew in her statement. "His mother is ailing and has not seen him for over a year."

Police are investigating whether Pastor Koh's disappearance was connected with proselytization allegations against him, as it is illegal for non-Muslims to preach to Muslims in Malaysia. It is also thought that a human trafficking syndicate could have been involved in his disappearance.

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) also called for Pastor Koh's release on the anniversary of his abduction. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Julian Leow Beng Kim, urged Christians to continue praying for closure on the case of the missing pastor, the Anglican News reported.

Archbishop Kim, who serves as the chairman of CFM, encouraged the faithful to also pray that Pastor Koh would finally be reunited with his family. He also asked them to pray that the Lord would strengthen Koh's family as they endure this difficult time.

CFM called on authorities to urgently and diligently complete their investigations into the case of Pastor Koh and the other Christians who have been reported missing.