|Last year’s rank||39|
|Christians||42 600 (Open Doors estimate)|
The sultan is seen as the protector and defender of the Muslim faith, and leaving Islam is illegal. Converts can be punished under penal law, and families and communities will exert great pressure to “bring them back” to their original faith. However, Christians tend not to face outright violence.
Non-traditional Christian communities can’t be registered as churches, but have to be registered as companies, societies or family centres. As such, they’re treated as secular organisations and are required to submit their financial and operational reports to the government every year. Sharia law continues to be introduced in the country and implemented more widely.
What changed this year? The implementation of the Sharia law penal code has increased insecurity and fear among Brunei’s Christian population and has increased the pressure felt by Christians in public and private life.
“Believers aren’t 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 was the only Christian in her school. She has faced a lot of questions and pressure, but still serves God through her church.
What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Brunei?
Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Brunei.