On 13 February 2017, Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted in broad daylight by secret state police in Malaysia. Finally, the court case looking into his disappearance has started. His wife, Susanna, continues to ask for your prayers.
In the video above, Susanna shares her reflections on the first days of the trial into the abduction of her husband, Pastor Raymond Koh, in Malaysia in 2017.
Earlier this week, she wrote a message:
"Dear friends, Finally! The trial is on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 June at 10.30 am at the High Court, Kuala Lumpur," she writes.
Thank you to all of you who've prayed and raised your voice for Pastor Raymond Koh over the past years. Susanna and the rest of the family request your prayers during this critical week.
For more information on Pastor Raymond, you can read his story below. Susanna still prays for his safe return.
On the first day, an opening statement was read which included the grounds for which Susanna is taking action against the government:
The hearing then proceeds with Susanna’s other lead lawyer, Gerald Gomez, questioning their witness. Four witnesses will be questioned during the course of these few days:
The family request prayer for wisdom, for the lawyers and witnesses, and for the judge (Judge Su Tiang Joo).
The hearing continues with the lawyer for the defendant cross-examining Susanna’s first witness, Roshan.
The cross-examination took a few hours until the judge decided to adjourn the case until 20 June.
On 20 June, the defendant’s lawyer continued to cross-examine the first witness, follow by Susanna’s lawyer re-examining the first witness. The court will now proceed with examining the second witness, Jonathan, Susanna’s son. The court date has been adjourned to the 21 and 22 of August 2023. The judge stressed the importance of prioritising the case.
Susanna shared that she feels hopeful and relieved that the judge is fair and wants to prioritise the case. She hopes that her turn to testify will come sooner than the allotted time, which is in June 2024. Please pray for Jonathan and their lawyers as they prepare for the next hearing.
The next court dates are currently as follows:
11 February 2022
On 13 February 2022 it will be five years since Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted by secret police in Malaysia; the incident was caught on CCTV.
Susanna Koh, Pastor Raymond’s wife, has been actively campaigning to find him since he disappeared. Although the case has gained a lot of international attention, the family still don't have firm answers about what happened to Raymond or where he is now. They also still don’t know why he was taken.
But the family (pictured below on the right) have taken great strength and courage from your prayers and letters of encouragement. Susanna says of your prayers, “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where we’d be now.”
This year, Susanna is holding a candlelight vigil and press release to demand justice for her husband and others who have also disappeared in Malaysia. In the video below, she shares her hopes for the outcome of this event:
In April 2019, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) concluded that Raymond Koh was a victim of enforced disappearance by the state, namely the Special Branch of the Malaysian Police Department. The government then formed a special task force to establish Raymond Koh’s whereabouts. The task force was scheduled to publish a report with the findings of its investigations within six months but, in January 2020, the government said that the task force needed more time to complete the report. They have yet to publish this report.
One possible reason for his abduction is his compassionate work among the poor and marginalised people groups in Malaysia.
With Susanna, Raymond started a charity, Harapan Komuniti (Hope Community), that works with the underprivileged from all communities, including those with HIV/AIDS, recovering drug addicts, single mothers and their children, and homeless people.
Esther, Raymond and Susanna’s daughter, remembers her father once advised her to ‘waste time with people’. “He said it’s important… what he means is just spending time with people, getting to know people, because to him, people are the number one priority.”
Sri Ram, a close friend of Raymond’s, says, “Having come from a poor family background, Raymond understood the needs of the poor and the neglected. Anything that he could imagine doing for the marginalised communities, Raymond would take it on.”
Pastor Raymond even received death threats and hate mail for the work he was doing, but he refused to respond in anger.
It has been very hard for the family to adjust to life without Pastor Raymond. “It has been particularly difficult when it comes to birthdays, anniversaries and festive seasons, because we miss him,” says Susanna. “That's the time when the family gathers, so it's really been a struggle.”
“[Your prayers have] been so encouraging to me... I'm so grateful and thankful for the worldwide Christian community.”Susanna Koh
Susanna and her family still face a lot of challenges, intimidation and harassment from the police. “They have been calling me and my son for questioning in the police station. It is only by God's grace that we were able to answer and even stand up for our rights,” she says.
Carrying on without Pastor Raymond has been difficult – but Susanna and her family testify to the power of your prayers at work in their lives.
“The Christian community has been a great encouragement to me,” she says. “[Your prayers have] been so encouraging to me, you know, they really touched my heart and I'm so grateful and thankful for the worldwide Christian community.”
She also talked about the hope and strength she has found in the Bible – in particular, Isaiah 43:1-3: “If you go through the flood, go through the river, you go through the fire, He will be with [you]. It's very assuring; God's Word does strengthen us, and it plants that faith in our hearts.”
In February 2020, Susanna Koh announced that she has filed a lawsuit against the police and Malaysian government over Raymond’s abduction. The Koh family won’t stop until they find answers, and ultimately, find Raymond. “Please pray with us for justice to be done as this matter is now in the hands of the judiciary,” says Susanna.
In February 2021, we spoke to Susanna about the ongoing fight for justice for Pastor Raymond:
Please consider lighting a candle in solidarity with Susanna on Sunday 13 February and pray for Pastor Raymond.
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