About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:329800 km2
Capital:Kuala Lumpur
GNI per capita:4650 US$
Classification:Developing economy





Muslim: 48.00%

Chinese folk religion: 24.00%

Christian: 9.00%

Hindu: 7.00%

Buddhist: 7.00%

Other: 5.00%


Catholics: 1142208

Protestants: 915590

Independent: 217000

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Malay kingdoms existed in the peninsula already in the 10th century. Islam arrived in the 14th century. The area was colonized successively by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The struggle for independence began after the Japanese occupation of World War II. The Federation of Malaya was founded in 1957. It became the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, when Sabah and Sarawak in northern Borneo, and Singapore were added. Singapore left the Federation in 1965. The population is made up of Malay, Chinese, Indian, indigenous groups, and migrant workers from several parts of Asia. Islam (Sunni) is the official reli- gion. Malaysia's policy is to maintain the ethnic and religious diversity in careful balance. The country has succeeded in building a modern economy based on production and processing of oil and petroleum, a high-tech manufacturing industry, and services. The Catholic Church is the oldest and largest Christian church. Protestant missions arrived in the 19th century. The Anglicans, which are part of the Province of South East Asia, are the largest protestant church, followed by the Methodist Church of Malaysia. There are several active Pentecostal and Evangelical churches. The Council of Churches is the ecumenical body. The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, established in 1983, is affiliated with the WEA. These two bodies, and the Catholic Church, together form the broad-based Christian Federation of Malaysia. The Orthodox Syrian Church in Malaysia is part of the WCC through the Orthodox Syrian Church in India, to which it belongs.


WCC member churches based in Malaysia

WCC member churches present in Malaysia

    Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

    Last updated: 01/01/06