|Score:||60 / 100|
|Persecution Type:||Islamic Oppression|
|Leader:||Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah|
Profile of Persecution
Islam still shapes public life
While Kuwait upholds many human rights suggested by the United Nations, their Constitution is full of contradictions when it comes to religious freedom. Christian persecution and violence against Christians have decreased, but Kuwait still prohibits religious expression that violates Islamic customs. For example, criticizing Islam or the Prophet Muhammad will lead to public prosecution. Despite a reported decrease in fear of Islamic radicalism, some Kuwaitis are joining ISIS.
How Christians are suffering
Expatriate Christians in Kuwait are relatively free to worship informally. However, the number and size of registered places of worship are not sufficient for the number of people who wish to attend church. Because it’s so difficult to obtain property for gatherings, the management of over-stretched church buildings sometimes leads to arguments between different Christian groups.
Those who leave Islam to follow Christ face the most persecution as they endure pressure from both family members and the local community to recant their Christian faith. They risk discrimination, harassment, police monitoring of their activities, and all sorts of intimidation by vigilante groups.
The government requires Islamic religious instruction for all Muslim pupils in state and private schools. In contrast, teaching Christianity in public schools is prohibited, even to legally recognized Christian groups. More broadly, Christians live under many restrictions. According to Amnesty International, “The authorities continued to unduly restrict the right to freedom of expression, prosecuting and imprisoning government critics and online activists under penal code provisions that criminalized comments deemed offensive to the Emir or damaging to relations with neighboring states.”
Pray for Kuwait
- Pray there is a decrease in Islamic radicalism, which is currently on the rise.
- Pray that tribal leaders will distinguish between belief and culture, allowing their members to worship freely rather than treating Christians like they are betraying their family and people group.
- Pray churches would gain access to property and buildings, which are extremely scarce.
- Pray the current government will work toward greater freedom of religious expression, freedom of the press and freedom of association.
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