Malaysia to free 9 Christians
in conversion mix-up

Malaysian police say they will release nine Christians who were mistakenly accused of trying to convert Muslim university students.

District police chief Zahedi Ayob says the accusation sprung from a "misunderstanding" by a university security officer who thought they were handing Christian pamphlets to Muslims.

Proselytizing of Malaysia's majority Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden, though the reverse is allowed. Muslims are also not legally permitted to change religion.

Zahedi says an official from the Universiti Putra Malaysia handed the nine to police late Tuesday. They include five university students and four friends from Hong Kong.

Zahedi says police discovered they were only handing questionnaires to other Christians. He says they will be released later Wednesday without charges.

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