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April 17, 2014

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Malaysian church attacked amid Allah dispute

Updated Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 | 9:59 p.m.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian newspaper says church was attacked with firebombs early Monday, sparking concerns of escalating tension amid a dispute over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims.

The online edition of the Star newspaper quoted Penang state police chief Abdul Rahim as saying two men on a motorcycle threw Molotov cocktails into the compound of The Assumption Church early Monday. No one was injured.

The attack came after a banner was found hanging outside three Penang churches, including The Assumption, on Sunday. The banner read: "Allah is great, Jesus is the son of Allah." The churches have lodged complaints with police over the banner.

The government says "Allah", the Arabic word for God, is exclusive for Muslims. Christians in the Muslim-majority nation say the restriction violates their religious rights.