Kuwait, Arabian Peninsula
Political Leader: Prime Minister Nasir al-Muhammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah
Predominant Religions: Islam 87.4%, Christianity 8.2%, Hinduism 2.5%
Persecution Ranking: 39th
Number of Terrorist Groups: 2
Acts of Terrorism: 45; Casualties: 34
Percent of Corruption: 52%
% of People in Poverty: Not Ranked
Kuwait is an Islamic constitutional monarchy located at the northwestern tip of the Persian Gulf. For many years, Kuwait was a small emirate whose economy centered on sea trade, with special emphasis on pearl exports. In the 1940’s, however, oil was discovered under Kuwait and with it came economic prosperity and rapid growth. Today, Kuwaiti citizens enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Along with affluence has come a rapid increase in the population, both of expatriate workers as well as Kuwaiti citizens.
Presently, over fifty different (non-Kuwaiti) Protestant congregations and language groups meet weekly for worship. There is substantial freedom to worship, and little government-directed persecution of God’s people. However, persecution does occur in the form of harassment of converts from Islam by their families. Expatriate Christians may be expelled for inappropriate overt witness to locals, and national Christians are not allowed to freely profess their faith and worship their Savior.
“We always remind those who want to convert to Islam that they enter through a door, but that there is no way out,” A Kuwaiti jurist commented in 1996.
The Kuwaiti court, in the 1996 case of Hussein ‘Ali Qambar, made it clear that in its understanding there is a difference between religious freedom and the freedom to convert from Islam to another faith. This fact goes against the Western notion of religious freedom but dictates the way that many Islamic-based governments interpret their law.
Kuwait’s ranking of number 39 on the Open Doors World Watch List reflects this legal interpretation. The freedom to worship Christ is allowed. The freedom to convert peacefully from Islam is not.
- Pray that God will reach Kuwait’s leaders - government, business, and family - who will then open the doors for greater religious freedom and acceptance.
- Pray that Kuwaiti Christian Believers will stand strong in their faith and boldly share the Good News of Jesus Christ with their family and friends.
- Pray for Kuwaitis to respond to the Gospel message as it is communicated via legal forms of mass media – television, radio, and printed articles.
- Pray for unity among God’s people with an eagerness to meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the people. Pray that this unity would be present among the leaders as well as the people.
Praying through the Arabian Peninsula, Middle East Concern, Arab World Ministries, CSW, The World Factbook