Following a decision to implement Shari'ah law in the country, the Brunei government has banned 19 Islamic words from use by non-Muslims.
The words, which include Allah—long used by regional Christians to refer to God—and other words with religious associations, can no longer be used in reference to other religions after the new penal code takes effect in April, according to the Brunei Times.
The government also plans to implement strict punishment for crimes, including death by stoning for adultery and amputation of limbs for theft, Religion News Service reported in October. Those penalties will take effect in phases, beginning in April.
Brunei, an independent state bordered by Malaysia, is located on the northwest edge of Borneo Island in the South China Sea. Its population of 416,000 is 67 percent Muslim and ethnic Malay, and the country is ruled by a constitutional sultanate. Residents speak Malay, a language heavily influenced by Arabic.
The country rose ...1