How many Christians are there in Kuwait?
There are estimated to be around 520,000 Christians in Kuwait – just 12 per cent of the country’s Muslim-majority population. Most of these believers are migrant workers from other countries.
How are Christians persecuted in Kuwait?
In Kuwait, persecution of Christians largely focuses on those who’ve left Islam.
Converts face discrimination and harassment from their family and community, intimidation from Islamist groups, and even police monitoring. Since conversion from Islam to another faith is not officially recognised, there are likely to be legal problems in personal status and property matters.
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.
Given 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 migrant Christians from other countries are relatively free to worship, finding a place to meet is often difficult. Christians must be very careful when sharing their faith, since proselytising is illegal and they could be expelled from the country.
“The Word of God is eaten here. People are so hungry for the Word that it just finds its way to them.” Judah, a Christian in Kuwait
What’s life like for Christians in Kuwait?
Men who convert to Christianity fear the rejection of their families and the repercussions it would have on their livelihood. Meanwhile, women converts could be put under house arrest, pressured to marry a Muslim, sexually harassed, divorced or even killed. The law also prevents a female Christian convert from marrying a non-Muslim.
Many of the foreign domestic maids in Kuwait are Christian. The ill-treatment of migrant workers, including sexual abuse, is a major issue that has been exacerbated during Covid-19 lockdowns. Although not primarily faith-related, many Christian domestic migrant workers, almost all of whom are female, experience sexual abuse.
Although the number of Christians across the Arabian Peninsula is few, there is tremendous hunger for God amongst believers. Judah* is a Bible distributor in the region. “If it wasn’t for your organisation [Open Doors], we couldn’t have distributed these Bibles. You are really standing beside us in supporting the church here.”
*Name changed for security reasons
How can I help Christians in the Arabian Peninsula?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Kuwait. Your prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors supports the body of Christ on the Arabian Peninsula by organising prayer, distributing Scripture resources, and training believers and pastors.
Lord Jesus, many of Your children in Kuwait have experienced suffering. Heal, comfort and restore them. Protect our brothers and sisters from harm. May homes, workplaces and communities be safe places. Continue to enable Christians to gather safely for worship and prayer, and help isolated believers to find fellowship. Give Your people wisdom, boldness and protection as they look for opportunities to tell others about Jesus. Amen.