There are around 53,500 Christians in Brunei – just 12% of the country’s population.
Over the last few years, pressure has been slowly building against churches and their activities. The recent implementation of Sharia (Islamic law) – which governs non-Muslims as well as Muslims – has increased insecurity and fear among Brunei’s small number of Christians.
Converts from a Muslim background can be disowned by families, separated from children, forcibly married or made to attend Islamic rehabilitation programmes. If their faith is widely known, the authorities will also intervene to pressurise converts to renounce Christianity, because leaving Islam is considered illegal.
Whilst traditional Christian communities can worship relatively freely, all church activities are monitored by the authorities and surrounding community, and church leaders are warned against doing outreach or becoming too public.
They must register not as a church but as a secular entity and are required to submit their financial and operational reports to the government every year.
“Believers are not willing to take risks. Some of my friends have said they don’t see a place for themselves in the church anymore.” Elora, a Christian in Brunei
Elora (name changed) grew up in a Christian household but first truly encountered Jesus aged 21. Today she serves the young adults in her local church, but is saddened that many of her Christian peers have converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim, or hold back their passion for Jesus following the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law) in 2019.
“My heart beats faster when it comes to Brunei,” Elora says. “There is a burden I can’t explain. Pray for the salvation of people in Brunei. Pray for the Sultan, the government and authorities.”
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Brunei. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Brunei.
Lord Jesus, pour Your peace into the hearts of believers who are fearful given the growing implementation of Sharia (Islamic law). Inspire in them fresh faith and boldness. Protect Your people from harm, and minister Your healing and comfort into the lives of those suffering because of their faith. Surround young Christians with good role models who will help disciple them amid pressure from their peers. May Your children in Brunei know the joy and hope of following You, despite the challenges they face. Use Your people in amazing ways to draw others, including those in authority, to You. Amen.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.