There are 52,000 Christians in Brunei. They make up 11.7 per cent of the population.
Brunei is an absolute monarchy, and the sultan is seen as the protector and defender of the Muslim faith. Leaving Islam for another religion is illegal. Converts can be disowned by their families, forced to divorce their spouse and leave the family home. Women and girls may even be isolated by their family and they can be threatened with forced marriage to Muslim men. Married converts to Christianity from Islam also lose custody of their children.
Non-traditional Christian communities cannot be registered as churches and, instead, have to be registered as companies, societies or family centres. They are then treated as secular organisations and are required to annually submit their financial and operational reports to the government.
“Believers are not willing to take risks. Parents choose not to send their children to public church events either. Some of my friends have even said they don’t see a place for themselves in the church anymore.” Elora
The full implementation of Shariah – Islamic law – in April 2019 has heightened believers’ fears. Since the introduction of Sharia, Elora (a believer in Brunei whose name we have changed) has noticed the passionate faith of her Christian friends cool out of fear.
Even though overt violence remains a remote risk for most followers of Jesus, many feel intense discrimination and abuse daily. But, thanks to your prayers and support, Elora still has hope. “My heart beats faster when it comes to Brunei,” she says. “There is a burden I can’t explain. Pray for the salvation of the people of Brunei. Pray for the sultan, the governments and authorities of this country as well. Please pray that the glory of God will shine in Brunei.”
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 God, may Your kingdom come in Brunei. Pour out Your Spirit on the church there. Transform the heart of the sultan, that he will come to know Your love and mercy. Make the church in Brunei a city on a hill that the darkness can never overcome. Amen.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.