World Watch Ranking: 44

What does persecution look like in Brunei?

As Shariah law continues to be implemented in Brunei, Christians face ongoing restrictions on how they can live out their faith in public. Under these laws, conversion from Islam is illegal, and pressure is intense for anyone who follows Jesus. Many Protestant churches cannot register as "churches," and instead are forced to register as businesses or secular organizations that submit financial and organizational reports to the government each year.

Brunei has strict guidelines about any non-Islamic worship. Public Christmas celebrations are banned—Christians can only celebrate Christmas in places where Muslims cannot see them. Bibles are heavily controlled, and importing them is rarely allowed outside of personal use. Church activities are monitored, and any sharing of faith with Muslims is illegal

All Bruneian Christians face some level of discrimination, though converts are particular targets for pressure from family, community and government. Women not wearing the Islamic headscarf can be pressured to do so and some public places—like schools or boarding houses—ban Bibles if the majority of the community is Muslim. Overall, Brunei is a difficult place to follow Jesus, filled with daily pressures and risks.

Who is most vulnerable to persecution?

Converts from Islam are most vulnerable and face the most intense persecution.

Meet 'Lina'

"I was sitting in a corner by myself reading [the Bible], when a few girls approached me asking why I brought a Bible to school. They yelled, ‘Leave that book at home!’ I was so frightened. These were my friends. I had never seen them that angry before.”

Lina, a young Christian in Brunei

What has changed this year?

The situation in Brunei remains difficult for Christians—and that fact has remained steady for years. The implementation of Shariah law has created a pressure-filled environment and exacerbated an already difficult situation for Christians, particularly those who convert from Islam. Though the Shariah Penal Code has not yet had visible consequences for the Christian minority, believers are living carefully, trying to avoid any missteps or misperceptions. Churches continue to operate in a legal gray area, only existing as long as the Bruneian monarchy allows it.

What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Brunei?

Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Brunei.

How can you pray for Brunei?

  • Pray for Christians who struggle with laws that are biased against anything outside of Islam. Ask God to give His people grace and patience.
  • Pray that younger Christians in Brunei will have the strength to continue to follow Jesus despite peer pressure and criticism from their friends.
  • Pray that there would be more freedom to worship openly in Brunei.
A prayer for Brunei

Dear God, we pray for Christians in Brunei who struggle with discrimination and persecution because they worship You. Will you bless them and give them a sense of Your peace today? Please bless Christians in the country, along with their churches. Bring courage to Your people to stand for You despite the pressure. And please grant more freedom to our brothers and sisters in Brunei. We ask this in Jesus' holy name, Amen.

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Map thumbnail
Persecution Level

Very High

Persecution Type
  • Islamic oppression
  • Dictatorial paranoia

Population of Christians
54,200 (12%)

Main Religion

Absolute Monarchy or Sultanate

Sultan Sir Hassanal Bolkiah

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