Each Friday I pray and fast for nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world. This week I am praying and fasting for:
Qatar. 2.3 million people with 90,000 Christians.
Christian converts from a Muslim background and Christian migrant workers continue to be pressured. The state religion is strictly conservative Wahhabi Islam. While Muslims are free to worship in public, non-Muslim religious groups are restricted to private houses or designated places. Proselytizing is outlawed and those who criticize Islam are punished. Conversion from Islam to another religion constitutes apostasy, an offense which carries capital punishment. Qatar is one of the largest financial supporters of Islamic terrorism; it reportedly supports Islamic rebels in war zones. (World Watch List)
Expatriate believers are allowed to practice their faith openly, but Qatari Christians risk arrest or worse. Government policy strictly limits Christian gatherings. Proselytism of Muslims is forbidden, and merely causing a Qatari to doubt his or her faith is punishable by several years’ imprisonment. Expatriates have been expelled for evangelizing Qataris. Christians are treated as second-class citizens. Criticism of the Muslim faith or the ruling family is a crime. There were no known Qatari believers before 1985, but several have come to the Lord outside the country since then. Up until 2008, there were no churches for foreigners. Eight Christian denominations, which have more than 1,500 members living in the country, have been legally recognized and built or have been allotted land to build a church in the Mesaymir Religious Complex, widely known as “Church City.” Foreigners from smaller congregations may still worship privately, and all foreign churches are forbidden from advertising services or displaying religious symbols on their buildings. (Voice of Martyrs)
Today, I prayed:
Lord, I pray that You send a new group of believers to Qatar who will turn the world upside down in that nation. (Based on Acts 17:6)
Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.