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Region Middle East
Leader Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Population 2 338 000
Christian 9%
Main Religion Islam
Government Emirate
Rank 27
Score 63
Previous Rank 20
Previous Score 66

“Pray for fellowship within Qatar, and more openness to other religions.”

Public worship for religions other than Islam is not allowed and active missionaries run the risk of being detained or deported. Believers from a Muslim Background face extreme pressure from their families and peers, and are considered apostate. They can legally be given a death sentence. Most new believers discover Jesus while travelling abroad and fear returning home. Locals who become Christians must hide their faith even from family and partners.

Sharia (Islamic) law controls Qatar. While violence against Christians is quite low, there is high oppression of Christianity. Apart from Saudi Arabia, Qatar is the only other Wahhabi Islamic country in the world, a strictly conservative and puritan version of Islam.

The first Christian house of worship was built in 2008, and since then there has been other churches built around the same area. While this brings some hope for freedom of religion, it can also create a concentrated area for Christians where they can more easily be monitored and controlled.

About 80 percent of Qatar’s population are migrant labourers and treated as slaves. These migrants have some freedom to practice their faith privately. Outward symbols of faith, like crosses on churches, are illegal. Evangelising to Muslims can result in up to 10 years in prison and deportation.

Open Doors supports the Church in the Arabian Peninsula through prayer support.

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