The U.S. government agency on religious freedom also expressed concern. Leonard Leo, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, was quoted by the AFP news service as saying the church bombings “have shaken Malaysia’s delicate political and ethnic balance.”
About 60 percent of Malaysians are ethnic Malays, practically all of whom are Muslim. Ethnic Chinese, Indians and tribal peoples embrace other religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism.
The issue of Muslim conversion is a sensitive matter in Malaysia, particularly regarding the officially Muslim Malay ethnic group.