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Brunei Facts

Score:63/ 100
Region:Asia
Persecution Type:Dictatorial paranoia
Persecution Level:Very High
Population:439,000
Christians:55,300
Main Religion:Islam
Government:Sultanate
Leader:Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

Profile of Persecution

Violence 3%
Church Life 81%
National Life 62%
Community Life 64%
Family Life 86%
Private Life 78%

A view of Islam that consumes everything

Converting away from Islam to Christianity is considered illegal and punishable by law. Known converts are not recognized as official citizens and can be legally separated from their spouse and children. Some Christian groups are not permitted as churches and must submit operational reports to the government every year. Strict Shariah law regulates all of society, including Christians.

How Christians are suffering

All churches, including registered ones, are monitored and restricted by the authorities. Non-traditional Christian communities cannot register as churches but must register as secular organizations. Conversion is considered illegal, and believers from Muslim backgrounds come under intense pressure to return to their original faith.

Examples

As conversion from Islam is strictly opposed by Bruneian laws, known converts to Christianity will be separated from their spouse and children, and their spouse will be forced to divorce their partner. If converts are identified as such by the security department, they are threatened, to make them recant their Christian faith.

Some Christians and members of other minority groups are not allowed official citizenship. This leads to a large group of stateless residents who are disadvantaged in many respects. Especially young people are leaving the country as they lack possibilities for the future. This affects churches as well, as potential next generation leadership is becoming scarce.

Population and number of Christian statistics: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2019).

 

Pray for Brunei

  • Every day in the local newspapers, there are reports of converts to Islam who were given gifts and financial support. In contrast, Christians are not allowed to evangelize at all. Pray God will grant His people wisdom and boldness in sharing Jesus.
  • Conversion in Brunei can mean losing your spouse and even your children. Pray for the believers who have suffered this reality, that they can find comfort and stand strong in their faith.
  • Pray for perseverance for believers. In 2018, the Brunei government implemented Shariah law, which allows for heavy punishments for evangelizing and converting from Islam to another religion. Pray Christians continue to put their hope in God.

Stories from Brunei

March 6, 2020

A ‘living death’: How Christian women experience persecution

A new 2020 Open Doors in-depth report focusing on gendered persecution surfaces some disturbing realities for Christian women and girls in the top 50 countries where women are highly persecuted for their decision to follow Jesus. Read More

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January 15, 2020

Every day, 8 Christians killed for their decision to follow Jesus

In-depth research for Open Doors' 2020 World Watch List shows that at least eight Christians, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa, die at the hands of persecutors (extremists, family members and state authorities) each day. Read More

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