|Persecution Type:||Islamic oppression|
|Persecution Level:||Very High|
|Leader:||Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani|
Christians in Qatar, especially converts from Islam to Christianity, remain under extremely high pressure from the government and society—risking discrimination, harassment, police monitoring and intimidation. Apostasy is a crime in Qatar, punishable under criminal law. Even one’s family can be dangerous in a culture that sees conversion as a betrayal. In the Western Asian country, Islam is seen as the only acceptable faith, and conversion remains a capital offense. As for church gatherings, while Muslims are free to worship in public, Christians can only worship in private houses or designated places.
The expatriate and indigenous Christian groups in Qatar are separated from each other and must be careful when interacting with each other. Christians with a Muslim background are heavily persecuted; migrant workers who convert are especially vulnerable. Christian converts are considered apostates and face discrimination and harassment from society and even risk being killed by their family. Even their Muslim employers are likely to be a source of persecution.
Local converts are very much under the control of their families, facing pressure from both family members and the local community to recant their Christian faith. Because religion is part of a family and tribe’s identity, conversion is seen as a betrayal.
Violent incidents against Christians are rarely reported. The country is well policed and, in general, peaceful. However, most incidents targeting Christian migrant workers go unreported because the victim wants to keep their job.
It’s also sometimes difficult to discern whether mistreatment is due to a worker’s Christian faith. However, in general, the faith of non-Muslim migrant workers, including Christians, leads to extra vulnerability.
Almost all Qatari converts from Islam convert abroad, and the majority of them do not return to the country out of fear.
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
Christians in Qatar are requesting prayers for the current diplomatic crisis their country is in. A growing number of other Arab countries have cut all ties with Qatar. The future for Qatar and its hundreds of thousands of migrant workers – tens of thousands of those being Christian believers - is unclear. Read More