Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
PROFILE OF PERSECUTION
What does persecution look like in Kuwait?
In Kuwait, conversion from Islam to another faith is not officially recognized and is likely to lead to legal problems in personal status and property matters. Converts to Christianity from Islam face discrimination and harassment from their family and community, intimidation from Islamist groups, and even police monitoring.
Expatriate Muslims who convert to Christianity experience the same levels of pressure as they would face in their home countries, as they often live within their own national or ethnic communities.
Because of the potentially severe consequences, it is almost impossible for converts to reveal their new faith, which is why there are hardly any reports of Christians being killed or harmed for their faith.
Although expatriate Christians are relatively free to worship, finding a place to meet is often difficult. Christians must be very careful when sharing their faith, since proselytizing is illegal and they could be expelled from the country.
Meet “Judah,” a Christian living in the Arabian Peninsula
“The Word of God is eaten here. People are so hungry for the Word that it just finds its way to them.”
What has changed this year?
Little has changed for Christians in Kuwait, despite the country dropping a place on the World Watch List. While expatriate believers remain relatively free to practice their faith, converts from Islam continue to face severe opposition from both their families and communities—and, if anything, this hostility has only increased over the past year.
Who is most vulnerable to persecution?
Christian converts are most vulnerable to persecution, because Kuwaiti society is highly conservative and leaving Islam is regarded as a betrayal of the family and tribe. In many cases, converts are alienated from their families as a result of their conversion. Expatriate Christians with lower levels of skills are more likely to face discrimination and abuse, especially female domestic workers.
What does Open Doors do to help?
Open Doors supports the body of Christ on the Arabian Peninsula by organizing prayer, distributing Scripture resources, and training believers and pastors.
Population statistic: Johnson T M and Zurlo G A, eds., World Christian Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, accessed April 2021).
Pray for Kuwait
Pray for the protection of Christians in Kuwait.
Pray that the sexual abuse of migrant workers will stop. Ask the Lord to heal all those who have experienced this.
Pray wisdom and boldness as Christians seek to tell others about Jesus.
Stories from Kuwait
January 18, 2021
13 Christians murdered for following Jesus—every day
May 19, 2020
Don’t waste COVID-19: Lessons from believers in the Arabian Peninsula
March 6, 2020