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St Peter's Church

St. Peter's church is the oldest operational Catholic Church in Malaysia. It was built in 1710 on land donated by the Dutchman Maryber Franz Amboer. At the time this area was outside the core city of Melaka. The oldest item in the church is the bell, manufactured in Goa in 1608. It was salvaged from an earlier church burned by the Dutch during their 1641 occupation.

St. Peter's Church was built by descendants of Portuguese soldiers in Malacca after the Dutch administrators relaxed the rules to allow the construction of a Catholic church. Its construction was made possible through the generosity of a Dutch convert who donated the land to the Portuguese as a gift. The bell within its bell tower dates back to 1608 and was manufactured in Goa, India.

Earlier, under Governor Bott, a zealous church man, all Portuguese Catholics in Malacca were ordered to give up their faith. A Jesuit traveller, Father premare, reported that the Dutch allowed all religions in Malacca except Roman Catholic, forcing many to perform their devotion in great secrecy.

When religious freedom was finally proclaimed in 1702, Malacca became a more tolerent place for other religions than it had been under the Portuguese. Today St. Peter's Church is the oldest Catholic church in Malaysia.
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