‘Teapot’ cult HQ damaged by fire

The headquarters of a bizarre Malaysian cult built around a giant teapot was damaged by arsonists, a fireman said today, two weeks after the sect was raided by religious officials.

Sky Kingdom

[The] six-acre commune, dominated by a building about the size of a two-story house, shaped like a giant pink teapot. Next to it is an umbrella shaped building and an assortment of other objects, such as a fishing boat and an oversized vase containing “holy” water.
Malaysia’s Teapot Cult Stands in Face of Staunch Islamic Tradition

Ayah Pin and his followers – he claims to have several thousand in Malaysia, Singapore, Bali and beyond – say the two-storey-high teapot was inspired by the dreams of one of the cult’s followers, and reflects a similar vessel in the sky which God uses to shower his blessings on mankind. Followers who come to the village for the first time have to drink “holy water” pouring from a giant vase that is perpetually filled by the teapot.
Sect where blessings pour from a teapot

Assailants armed with Molotov cocktails attacked the commune early this morning and set fire to structures there, The Star newspaper said in a text-message news service.

The sect, which believes the teapot has healing properties, is in Malaysia’s northeast – a strongly Muslim area that has suddenly lost patience with the sect.

“There has been a small fire,” firefighter Ahmad Fakarudin told Reuters, adding a car and the roof of a hall had been burnt.

“The roof of the teapot structure is also slightly charred but since it is made of concrete, the damage is not extensive,” Mr Ahmad said by telephone from Jertih, a town near the commune.

Police said there no reports of injuries.

“We can confirm that there have been two reports of some people that went inside, destroying certain monuments, structures, and replicas of buildings,” Hussin Ismail, chief of police in Terengganu state, told Reuters.

Mainly Muslim Malaysia has Islam as its state religion and tolerates other main religions, with large minorities of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

State religious authorities have outlawed the “Sky Kingdom” teapot sect as a deviant cult.

Its leader, Ayah Pin, claims to be divine and the “boss of all religions” according to a recent newspaper interview.

Religious officials raided the commune early this month and detained 21 followers, although Ayah Pin eluded arrest.

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Reuters, USA
July 18, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday July 18, 2005.
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