It’s not as simple as just substituting the name. At it’s most basic, I believe “Allah” means The One God, Lord Almighty, even Yahweh.
This is the belief that there is only one true God Almighty. All Abrahamnic faiths base their religions on this truth. “Tuhan” on the other hand is a more generic term for god. This is not in keeping with Christianity.
I believe there is no direct Malay name for “Allah” which is why the Arabic term was used instead in translating scripture. To stop using “Allah” is to change scripture, hymns and prayers, and there is no reason why the East Malaysians should stop when we have been using “Allah” for hundreds of years up until a few years ago without issue.
As for me, it doesn’t bother me if I use Allah or not. It doesn’t distract my faith if I use God, Tuhan, Apai, Bapa and so forth.
What concern me most is I see this issue tends to be politicized and they deny our right rather than the exclusiveness of the term itself. It’s like a sign of the rise of Islamic political force. If we look back time, look through the flow of our history, the current politics scenario kinda out of the original track.
Correct me if I’m wrong,as far as I concerned, Malaysia is a liberal Country, NOT a Muslim country. 1st Prime Minister of Malaysia Tunku himself clarified that during the time of the formation of Malaysia. But, we understand that Islam is the official religion in this country.
However, as I mention earlier, to stop using “Allah” is to change scripture, hymns and prayers. Basicaly, change the whole things.
Some even suggest that it would be better if the services in all churches are conducted in English, at the same time it will help improve the level of understanding of the language among the Iban or christian Natives as a whole.
From some perspective, honnestly, Its such a good idea! Unfortunately, If we use english in all services? What about those who can’t understand? They may learn if the change lead to the positive side. But what if its failed?
There will be no Iban Bible. As most of the rural Iban doens’t understand english, less and less of them will come to church, their faith would faded, slowly they’ll lose and lost their faith, or maybe, there will be less and less Christian in the future. As they may convert to another religion in which they offer a teaching in the language that these people could understand.