Already exposed as a fake nun three years ago, Indonesian Muslim speaker Irena Handono was invited to speak at a Christology seminar to be held next month.
Updated: On Nov 25, the organiser of the ‘Christology’ seminar announced on its Facebook page that the event is cancelled due to “several reasons that could not be avoided”.
The ‘Understanding Christology’ seminar is a two-day Muslim-only event organised by Muslim group Nur Fitrah which will be held at Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor (KUIS) from December 9-10.
Christology refers to the field of study within Christian theology on Jesus Christ, whom Christians worship as an aspect of God.
When posters promoting the event surfaced on social media, the “former nun” description of Handono caused a stir.
Among Christians, someone like Handono who did not complete her training to be a nun and was only briefly a novice cannot be called a former nun.
Nur Fitrah apologised to those who were offended by the poster with the “former nun” description, saying it was under the impression that a person can be called a “former nun” if she had undergone pre-training. It also said it will drop the description on promotional posters of the event.
In May 2014, Handono was one of the speakers at a seminar organised by Universiti Tecknologi Mara (UiTM) on the “threat of Christianisation”. Several police reports were lodged in Selangor and Sarawak where complainants said the event was used for Christian-bashing and that no experts on Christianity were invited to defend the religion.
Back then, now defunct news website The Malaysian Insider revealed that Handono’s claims of being a former Catholic nun were untrue.
The Bishops Conference of Indonesia was quoted as saying that Handono was speaking at seminars “belittling Christianity, especially the Catholic church”.
Questions have also been raised on whether Nur Fitrah, which reportedly was founded only recently, has obtained the relevant approvals for the December event from the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais).