[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 06:52 GMT 07:52 UK
Malaysia 'teapot cult' attacked
Ayah Pin's Sky Kingdom (Photo: Malaysia Kini)
The large teapot dominates Ayah Pin's Sky Kingdom
Arsonists have attacked the base of a small inter-faith sect in Malaysia called the Sky Kingdom.

The sect is noted for building a giant teapot to symbolise its belief in the healing purity of water, and is accused of luring Muslims away from Islam.

A lawyer for the sect, Haris Mohamad Ibrahim, said that about 30 armed men dressed in Arab robes had attacked the commune with Molotov cocktails.

No-one was injured in the attack, which caused a small fire.

"The roof of the teapot structure is... slightly charred, but since it is made of concrete, the damage is not extensive," firefighter Ahmad Fakarudin told Reuters news agency.

Police raid

The sect - based in the strongly Muslim state of Terengganu - claims to promote harmony between religious groups.

Ayah Pin (Photo: Malaysia Kini)
Leader Ayah Pin believes he can save the world
Its leader, Ayah Pin, says he is the saviour of the world.

He has attracted believers from many different religious groups with his message of love and tolerance. He claims to allow his followers to be members of any faith, including Islam.

Earlier this month, the group was raided by police, and 21 followers were arrested for possessing documents contrary to Islam. They were all freed on bail pending a court appearance in September.

Members have been jailed in the past for attempting to renounce Islam, and the group's bizarre constructions have been deemed to be against local regulations.

The group's controversial structures are said to combine architectural elements from Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Malaysian sect members arrested
04 Jul 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Malaysia to curb 'moral policing'
26 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Malaysians condemn 'state spying'
22 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Malaysia: Islam and multi-culturalism
07 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Malaysia
02 Apr 05 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific