|Christian Population||52 000 (11.7%)|
In Brunei, leaving Islam for another religion is illegal—so converts from Islam who follow Jesus encounter significant persecution from both local and national sources. Converts can be disowned by their families, and forced to divorce their spouse and to leave the family home. Married converts to Christianity from Islam also lose custody of their children.
Non-traditional Christian communities cannot be registered as churches and instead, usually have to be registered as companies, organisations or family centres. So, they are treated as secular business entities and are required to annually submit their financial and operational reports to the government.
Every level of society in Brunei is affected by the continuing introduction of Shariah law. The full implementation of Shariah law in 2019 raised international concern for what it would mean for Brunei, and even a year later, the meaning of the law for Christians is still somewhat unclear, though it seems to generally not have been implemented against Christians.
“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* is a believer in her 20s who faced many challenges growing up. Despite the persecution, she has hope for the future of Brunei.
*Name changed for security reasons
What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Brunei?
Open Doors urges prayer support for believers in Brunei and for the local churches, as they experience mounting pressure from the government.