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Kuwait Facts

Score: 61 / 100
Region: Middle East
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 4,100,000
Christians: 425,000
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Leader: Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah

Profile of Persecution

Violence 2%
Church Life 73%
National Life 65%
Community Life 69%
Family Life 75%
Private Life 80%

Where Persecution Comes From

In Kuwait, Christians experience persecution at all levels of society, including government, local communities and even their families. Because no religion aside from Islam is considered an acceptable faith, life for Christians is dangerous, especially for Christian converts. Kuwaiti society is bound by conservative Islamic norms, and these norms are enforced by ordinary citizens, radical Islamic groups and a government that bows to the demands of radical groups so long as the government maintains its power base. Constitutionally, religious freedom is provided for as long as it doesn’t violate Islamic rules and customs–leaving little space for Christians to live out their lives in the public sphere.

How Christians are Suffering

While all Christians experience faith-related restrictions in Kuwait, expatriate Christians are relatively free to worship informally. However, they have a difficult time securing places for worship and are often pitted against each other to gain access to church buildings for legal worship. Meanwhile, converts from Islam endure the worst Christian persecution, both from their local communities and family members pressuring them to recant their faith. They experience discrimination, harassment, police surveillance and intimidation by vigilante groups, as well as legal problems related to personal status and property. Despite this persecution, reports of Christians being killed, imprisoned or harmed for their faith are rare.

Examples

In all state and private schools, the government mandates Islamic religious instruction for all students. Teaching Christianity is prohibited, even to legally recognized Christian groups.

Amnesty International recently highlighted Kuwait’s tightened restrictions surrounding the freedom of expression, particularly in the form of a new cybercrime law that penalizes criticism of the government, judiciary and other key groups with up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

In the same report, Amnesty International also noted that the Kuwaiti parliament recently approved an electronic media law regulating all online publications–including news sources, social media and blogs–forcing them to get a government license to operate.

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Pray for Kuwait

  • According to the constitution of Kuwait, Islam is the state religion, and Islamic law is an important source of legislation. Pray that the country would move toward true freedom of religion.
  • Pray for Muslim family members of Christians to see the love of Christ exemplified. Pray that believers would be emboldened to share their faith wisely with those around them.
  • In society, Christians are seen as second class, foreigners and infidels (anyone who adheres to a religion other than one’s own). Society prevents them from participating in community activities. Pray that the Christian community would not be discouraged and would continue to show the love of Jesus to their Muslim families and friends.

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