Convert’s association in Tutong seeks more members
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE head of the Tutong New Converts Association (PESATU) has invited new Muslim converts to sign up with their association.
Speaking to The Brunei Times recently on the sidelines of a delegation visit to the association’s headquarters, Hj Hasbie Azrol Abdullah Liat said that their association would help ensure that converts continue their Islamic journey along with others who have similar experience.
“We encourage especially those who still have much to learn about Islam to share their thoughts with us. Hopefully we can help guide or direct them to appropriate authorities who can provide a definitive answer if we are not able to do so ourselves,” he said.
“It is not necessarily a one-way relationship as we can also learn from the new converts from the exchange of ideas. But since we have been through the same experience before, we would understand them (new converts) better,” Hj Hasbie Azrol said.
He said that since PESATU’s establishment in 1982, they have enlisted 230 members, of which over 100 remain active to date.
The association was formed with the support of the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) and other religious agencies such as the Tutong office of the Pusat Dakwah Islamiah as a place of reference to help new converts as well as those interested in embracing Islam, he said.
“In the past, all new converts in the district would automatically be referred to us to become a member, which helped increase our membership. Nowadays, we no longer compel new converts to join,” he said.
He said new converts eligible to join the association should have ties to the district either through birth or work, even if they don’t live in the district.
Hj Hasbie Azrol said they are looking to increase the number of events hosted by the association in the future to get closer to converts.
“ These events would allow us to share and discuss any questions that they (fellow converts) might have,” he said.
It was reported by state media newspaper Pelita Brunei yesterday that the Ministry of Religious Affairs has recorded 380 new converts in the first nine months of 2016, the bulk of them coming from Brunei-Muara district.
The minister of religious affairs said during the 12th Legislative Council session that the country has recorded an average of 500 converts annually in the past decade.
The Brunei Times