Migrant workers gathering for a Bible study, singing and praying together
The Arabian Peninsula, encapsulating Islam’s most holy places and most strict regimes, is not an easy place to follow Christ. And yet, God’s spirit moves through people’s lives there in miraculous ways. Both foreigners and locals learn to know Christ and start following Him, despite pressure and regulations.
Unnoticed by the public eye, millions of labourers from predominantly poor Asian and African countries work long-term on the Arabian Peninsula. They bring their own pastors, mission strategy and passion to share the gospel to their co-workers. Most of them meet in informal meetings, not in the handful of foreign churches allowed by some governments. But as long as they don’t get involved in public displays of evangelism, these Christians are mostly left undisturbed by the regimes.
That being said, every country has its restrictions that Christians have to deal with. Several workers say that government pressure on believers is very moderate in Kuwait, as long as they don’t draw attention to themselves in public – but to enjoy this freedom they need to adhere to government rules.
Several sources in Kuwait report that the number of Kuwaiti nationals accepting Christ is growing fast. One worker active among local believers said that even some police agents tasked with keeping the different religions in line are now following Christ in secret.
A big challenge for all believers, however, is money. One pastor explains, “For many people in this country – both nationals and expatriates – making as much money as possible is a key goal in their lives. This can distract them from putting God first.”
Another challenge is disunity within the Kuwait church. “There seem to be powers at play, attacking the body of Christ from the inside,” one leader said. “It seems that, now persecution from the outside is not a success, Satan tries to attack the church from within by turning leaders against each other.”
- That Kuwait will move towards true freedom of religion
- For boldness and wisdom for believers to share their faith with those around them
- That the Lord will enable Kuwaiti Christians to worship and glorify Him despite the restrictions they face, and also that the church will be united as one.
Kuwait ranks no.34 in the World Watch List.
Source of persecution: Islamic oppression / Dictatorial paranoia
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