The oldest churches in Johor Bahru, 21st Feb 2018

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The two oldest churches in Johor Bahru were built during the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar in the late 1800’s, and are located near Jalan Gereja (Church Road) behind the Double Tree by Hilton hotel.


The church with the spire is the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The original Catholic church was built in 1883, and was known as the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes; making it the oldest church in Johor Bahru. The current building was constructed on the same site and was built in 1921. 

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What is noticable as you walk up to the main door, is the mixture of Chinese (red lanterns) and Hindu (flower garlands) adorning the smaller shrines in front of this Catholic church.

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The inside of the church is less ornate than the outside, with just one piece of stained glass above the main entrance. Today the church was being used as the backdrop for wedding photography.

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The other church of historic significance in Johor Bahru is the Holy Light Church, just a little further up the hill along Jalan Abdullah Ibrahim, then turn left into Jalan Gertak Merah. This smaller church was the first Chinese presbyterian church in Malaysia, built in 1886, and constructed from timber from James Meldrum sawmill. It was founded by Rev. John Angus Bethune Cook, a missionary from England. This church is hemmed in behind steel railings and barbed wire, so I have just a few awkward shots from outside.

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