There are about 372,000 Christians in Qatar, about 13 per cent of a population of 2.8 million. Many of these believers are migrant workers.
What does persecution look like in Qatar?
Christians in Qatar are primarily foreigners who tend to be migrant workers. These foreign Christians are much freer to live out their faith in Qatar than the nationals, although foreigners might also experience pressure. Foreign churches are often
monitored by the government and limited to specific areas.
A small number of indigenous converts form the other group of Christians in Qatar. These believers face extreme pressure from their Muslim families and community. The country doesn't officially recognize conversion from Islam, which causes legal troubles and loss of status, child custody and property. Foreign converts from Islam may be able to avoid some pressure by joining a more international community, but the bottom line is that in Qatar both indigenous and migrant converts risk discrimination, harassment and police surveillance for their faith.
The risks faced by Christians, especially converts from Islam to Christianity, depend on the person's national origin. Native Qatari converts are the most vulnerable to danger, while foreign Christians may be somewhat freer to worship, as long as they do so in ways the government can tolerate.
A minister to migrants in Qatar:
“In this Muslim country, we are limited in evangelizing too openly. But nobody can stop us from talking to our fellow workers and witnessing to them in our everyday lives. Every day, God gives us opportunities to show His love to others.”Pastor Samuel
What has changed compared to last year?
Qatar jumped 11 spots from last year's 2022 World Watch List. Violence against Christians rose sharply because many churches were forced to stay closed after COVID-19 restrictions. The rest of the pressures faced by believers in Qatar are intense and a daily burden on those who follow Jesus.
- Pray for the migrant Christians in Qatar. Pray they would be protected from the brutal and abusive treatment that so many foreign workers face in Qatar. Ask God to protect and preserve His people.
- Any native Qataris who convert to Christianity must do so in deep secrecy or risk intense persecution from their family and society. Pray that these believers would know they are not alone and ask God to remind them that He is there and in control.
- Pray for the monarchy in Qatar. Ask that God would soften the hearts of the Emir and his government, and that they would open their hearts to the truth of Jesus' love and grace.
Almighty God, we thank You for Your presence with Your people in Qatar. We ask you to bless, strengthen and comfort them in times of trials, and whenever it seems like there is no hope or way out. Please protect our brothers and sisters, and grow Your church in Qatar. Thank you for Your grace and mercy. In Jesus' name, Amen.