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Losing their religion: The hidden crisis of ex-Muslims in Malaysia

Malaysia is a small country located in Southeast Asia, with a population just over 30 million. Malaysia is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, which plays a large role in politics. About half the population is ethnically Malay, with large minorities of Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians, and indigenous peoples.
Approximately 61.3% of the population practice Islam, 19.8% practice Buddhism, 9.2% Christianity, 6.3% Hinduism and 1.3% practice Confucianism, Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions. 0.7% declared no religion and the remaining 1.4% practised other religions.

The Malaysian constitution strictly defines what makes a "Malay", considering Malays must be Muslim, speak Malay regularly, practise Malay customs, and lived in or have ancestors from Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. Muslims are obliged to follow the decisions of Shariah courts in matters concerning their religion. The Islamic judges are expected to follow the Shafi’i legal school of Islam, which is the main …

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