Release International is pressing Malaysia to set free a Christian pastor who was abducted in a military-style operation three years ago (on Feb 13) and hasn't been seen since.

Release International
Release International

CCTV cameras captured the moment Pastor Raymond Koh was snatched off the streets in Selangor by a well-organised team. Evidence points towards a disciplined and highly trained snatch squad.

Video footage shows three black SUVs surrounding and boxing in Pastor Koh's car, forcing it to a halt. Two other cars and two motorcycles were also involved in the kidnapping.

Several men then ran towards Pastor Koh's vehicle before the entire convoy was driven away.

'Warned off'

A passer-by, whose vehicle entered the scene, was warned off by a man in a balaclava and forced backwards by a motorcyclist. Some 15 men are said to have been involved in the planned abduction.

Pastor Koh's wife Susannah pieced together what happened. She described the kidnapping to Release International's sister organisation Voice of the Martyrs (USA):

'There was an eye-witness, right smack in the middle of that scene. He thought it was a movie production. My children went door-to-door and found CCTV footage of the entire incident. It was a very military-style organisation, well-organised, and done in about 40 seconds. Last year, one of the officers confessed that the operation, the abduction, was done by the police.'


In 2019, Malaysia's Human Rights Commission accused the Malaysian Special Branch of carrying out two abductions - that of Pastor Koh and Amri Che Mat, a Shia Muslim social activist. Both were suspected of trying to convert Sunni Muslims. Both were boxed in by vehicles in similar snatch operations, and both have disappeared.

Another pastor, Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, also went missing in 2016.

Pastor Koh ran Hope Community, an organisation set up in the capital Kuala Lumpur to help the poorest members of society.

In 2011, Hope Community came under scrutiny by the authorities. They accused Pr Koh of trying to convert Muslims during a party at a local church.

Proselytising Muslims - attempting to convert them - is forbidden by law in Malaysia. The state also prohibits its Muslim citizens from converting to another faith. Under Malaysian law, those who change their religion could be charged with apostasy.