Brunei has been a sultanate for more than 600 years, and all important positions are still held by the Sultan himself, including prime minister, finance minister, minister of the interior and head of religion. People deeply revere and respect him and any criticism is seen as unacceptable. His government provides free medical services and subsidizes goods such as rice and housing. There are no school fees for state schools, and citizens of Brunei do not have to pay income tax. His politics are based on revenues from large oil and gas fields, covering 90 percent of the government`s GDP. Most of the citizens have never lived under any other system. Even the sultan’s announcement of introducing Sharia penal law in May 2014 did not change the peoples’ affection for him. The second phase encompassing corporal punishments was supposed to begin in May 2015, but has been delayed due to international pressure. Minorities like Christians, who make up 16 percent of the population, are feeling increased pressure, since the sultan leans more and more towards conservative Islam. This seems to give the tiny and rather young state an identity, possibly used as a uniting factor in preparation for the time when the country runs out of oil and gas.
The implementation of Sharia law in May of 2014 has added more fear upon the believers of this country. Open Doors urges prayer support for believers in Brunei and for the local churches as they are experiencing mounting pressure from the government. Pray also for church leaders who are in great need of biblical equipping, particularly in dealing with growing religious restrictions.
Currently, Open Doors serves persecuted believers in the region with the following activities: Prayer support and Persecution advocacy and awareness.
RECENT NEWS FROM BRUNEI
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (68) is the 29th and current Sultan of Brunei, a tiny Islamic kingdom of 420,000 nested in Southeast Asia, neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia. He succeeded to the throne in 1967 after the voluntary resignation of his father and was crowned the following year. Today, he holds what seems to be unlimited power; […] + READ MORE
PRAYER POINTS FOR BRUNEI
- Pray for opportunities for Christians to gather together in prayer and fellowship.
- Pray that Muslim families would encounter Christ while persecuting Christian family members.
- Pray Christians would feel free to live out their faith.