In the weeks ahead, Christian leaders from Southeast Asia will be sharing prayer updates about their research, ministries, and home countries. Bordered by India to the west, China to the north, Papua New Guinea to the east, and Australia to the south, Southeast Asia is an economically, culturally, and religiously diverse region that is home to around 10% of the global population. Learn more about Southeast Asia here.
This week, please join us in prayer for Dr. Lim Siew Pik in Malaysia.
Malaysia consists of West and East Malaysia, also known as Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo, separated by the South China Sea. According to a 2020 report from the Malaysian Department of Statistics, 64% of Malaysia’s 33 million people practice Sunni Islam, 19% Buddhism, 9% Christianity, and 6% Hinduism. Race and religion play major roles in Malaysian politics and civil life. Ethnic Malays, defined constitutionally as Muslims following Malay traditions, represent 57% of the population, while another 12% belong to various indigenous groups. Together, ethnic Malays and indigenous peoples comprise a demographic class called the Bumiputera (“sons of the soil”). Under affirmative action policies since the 1970s, the Bumiputera have received preferential banking, housing, educational, and other civic privileges over Chinese and Indian Malaysians, who represent 23% and 7% of the population, respectively.
An ordained minister with the Assemblies of God of Malaysia, Siew Pik serves as President of Alpha Omega International College (AOIC), a partner of the Vital Sustainability Initiative. Established in 1998, AOIC offers ten academic programs, accredited by the Asia Theological Association, in English, Chinese, and Tamil to 500 students. In addition to its main campus in Petaling Jaya, AOIC hosts extension sites in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Kajang, Kuching, and Klang.
Siew Pik earned her PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary (CA, USA), with scholarship support from Leader Studies. Her research interests include leadership development, mentoring, practical theology, culture, and anthropology. In her 2017 Global Insights essay, Siew Pik reflects on four types of toxic power strategies and proposes two pathways for nurturing virtuous leadership within the Church.
Siew Pik shares the following message:
Thank you for the opportunity to be remembered in prayer by the Scholar Leaders community.
Pray for Alpha Omega International College
My name is Lim Siew Pik. I am currently leading a Bible College in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. I was appointed President in 2015. In 2020, the institution faced governance and resource challenges. Since then, we have been working on restructuring for long-term sustainability. We are grateful for the partnership of the Vital Sustainability Initiative to guide us along fruitful paths.
With renewed focus on strengthening churches and supporting vulnerable communities in Malaysia, we seek to equip Christian believers in biblical and theological studies toward these goals. Please pray for the institution, for the grace of God’s provision, hope, courage, and tenacity to equip and serve Christians in our nation and beyond.
Pray for Malaysia’s Future Wellbeing
Thank you also for praying for Malaysia. The population of Christians is just over 9% in a country of 33 million. The majority are Muslims. Islam has a special position in our Malaysian Constitution. A 2023 Pew Research Center report suggests that 75% of Malaysian adults identify as Muslim.
Politics, race, and religion are delicately interwoven in our multicultural communities and relationships. Over the years, many voices have called for new or revised public policies for the future wellbeing of Malaysia’s total population, which comprises different ethnic communities of Malay, Bumiputera, Indian, Chinese, and other minority peoples.
The political challenges in our nation over the past few years have impacted our economic wellbeing. Vulnerable communities experience sustained hardship. Malaysians are wrestling with high inflation rates, and we must pay between 20-30% more for daily food and groceries.
Pray for Christian Hope in Malaysia
Further impacting economic growth and progress is the brain drain phenomenon. In a recent report, Malaysia registers a 5.5% brain drain rate, higher than the global average of 3.3%. Anecdotally, many who have emigrated to other countries over the years are Christians who do not see a hopeful future in the nation.
We thank God for churches that continue to thrive and grow during these turbulent years in our nation. Among those fastest growing are indigenous, Chinese, refugee, and economic migrant churches.
1. Pray for good governance and political will to lead with wisdom and integrity for the future wellbeing of all Malaysians in our nation.
2. Pray for our churches to be salt and light and a beacon of hope and good tidings to our growing vulnerable communities.
3. Pray for our churches to actively invest love, time, funds, and effort to engage and minister to our Millennial and Gen Z generations by inspiring a sense of loyalty, hope, and active participation in nation-building.
Lim Siew Pik