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Middle East

Persecution Type

Islamic oppression



Persecution Level

Very High






Absolute monarchy


Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

Profile of Persecution

Violence 7.2/16.7
Church Life 14.3/16.7
National Life 13.0/16.7
Community Life 11.1/16.7
Family Life 14.1/16.7
Private Life 14.2/16.7

What does persecution look like in Qatar?

Christians in Qatar are primarily foreigners who tend to be migrant workers. These foreign Christians are much freer to live out their faith in Qatar than the nationals, although foreigners might also experience pressure. And foreign churches are often monitored by the government and limited to specific areas.

A small number of indigenous converts form the other group of Christians in Qatar. These believers face extreme pressure from their Muslim families and community. The country doesn’t officially recognize conversion from Islam, which causes legal troubles and loss of status, child custody and property. Foreign converts from Islam may be able to avoid some pressure by joining a more international community, but the bottom line is that in Qatar both indigenous and migrant converts risk discrimination, harassment and police surveillance for their faith.

Meet “Pastor Samuel,” a minister to migrants who serves in Qatar

“In this Muslim country, we are limited in evangelizing too openly. But nobody can stop us from talking to our fellow workers and witnessing to them in our everyday lives. Every day, God gives us opportunities to show His love to others.”

What has changed in Qatar?

Qatar jumped 11 spots from last year’s 2022 World Watch List. Violence against Christians rose sharply because many churches were forced to stay closed after COVID-19 restrictions. The rest of the pressures faced by believers in Qatar are intense and a daily burden on those who follow Jesus.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

The risks faced by Christians, especially converts from Islam to Christianity, depend on the person’s national origin. Native Qatari converts are the most vulnerable to danger, while foreign Christians may be somewhat freer to worship, as long as they do so in ways the government can tolerate.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors raises prayer support for Christians in Qatar.

Population statistic: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed February 2020).

Pray for Qatar

  • Pray for the migrant Christians in Qatar. Pray they would be protected from the brutal and abusive treatment that so many foreign workers face in Qatar. Ask God to protect and preserve His people.
  • Any native Qataris who convert to Christianity must do so in deep secrecy or risk intense persecution from their family and society. Pray that these believers would know they are not alone, and ask God to remind them that He is there and in control.
  • Pray for the monarchy in Qatar. Ask that God would soften the hearts of the Emir and his government, and that they would open their hearts to the truth of Jesus’ love and grace.

Stories from Qatar

November 17, 2022

World Cup host Qatar must embrace religious freedom

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January 18, 2021

13 Christians murdered for following Jesus—every day

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June 1, 2020

7 World Watch List countries that might surprise you

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