Only a very small percentage of the 870,000 people in Comoros are Christians – about 4,200 people.
Christians in Comoros are not able to share their faith freely in public. If they do, they face legal consequences. In some parts of the country, extremist groups threaten Christians with violence. Proselytization by any religion except Islam is illegal, and converts to Christianity can be prosecuted. Converts from a Muslim background face the most severe difficulties. They are often pressured to keep their faith private—leaving them no option but to live out their faith in secret.
Persecution is common in all Christian communities in Comoros. However, the level of persecution that Christians from a Muslim background experience is much more extreme than the levels other groups face.
“Barely three days after I decided to follow Christ, my house was burned down. I was only able to rescue my laptop. All I had was the clothes on my back. I felt this was a test of my faith in Christ, but it turned out to be faith strengthening.”Titus
The situation for Christians in Comoros has changed very little in recent years. While the country is making progress in stability and democracy, there is still a rise of radical Islamic sympathies among the population at large. However, the country has greatly improved from the 1990s when it spent several years ranked in the top 20 on the World Watch list. This year’s re-entry to top 50 is due to the government’s pressure on all religious groups except Sunni Islam. The government believes the freedom of religion in the constitution is for foreigners, not for Comorians. That means converts have to hide their faith. The public stance of the government also gives locals a license to pressure and persecute Christians.
Through local partnerships, Open Doors has come alongside Christians in Comoros since the 1990s. Through strategic partnerships with the local church, Open Doors supports and equips the persecuted church with economic development through in-depth training, leadership development, cross-cultural evangelism and care for new believers.
Lord, please strengthen the small community of Christians in Comoros and add to their numbers. Give them the peace, hope and tenacity they need to follow You in the face of persecution. We pray for Christians who are walking alone, carrying their faith as a secret, to be lifted up and to persevere in the trials of isolation and lack of community. Let them feel the prayers of the worldwide church and be encouraged to pursue You with their whole hearts and minds. Amen.