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Bahrain

RegionMiddle East
Sources of PersecutionIslamic Oppression
Population1,419,000
Christian Population186,000
ReligionsIslam
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
LeaderSheikh Hamad Ibin Isa Al Khalifa
Score54/100

Bahrain

Bahrain: A Restricted Life. 
In Bahrain, 70% of the population is Muslim. Despite being told they are allowed religious freedom, many people are ruled by Sharia (Islamic) law. Because of this, being a Christian in Bahrain has many challenges. Believers face discrimination daily and expressing their faith in public can be deadly. Christians and other minorities are often neglected and opposed by the government. Attending church is difficult as it’s hard for pastors to get permission to build one. There are only 19 churches in the entire country. Sunday services aren't allowed to be translated into Arabic making it hard for Christians to grow. Private house churches are the most accessible way to gather together and worship, but these are constantly monitored. Getting caught wearing a cross could have severe consequences and evangelism is almost too difficult to do.

Getting married and having a family is tricky for Christians, especially if they grew up in a Muslim home. Relationships often end in divorce once a husband or wife becomes a Christian. In court, Christians are far from favoured and lose custody of their children.

Outsiders In Their Own Community. 
People believe that if you were a Muslim and convert to Christianity, there is no place for you in Bahrain. This isolates new believers. Those who still go to school are more likely to hide their faith to avoid being harassed. Family members put extra pressure on new Christians to renounce their faith. Ideology from the Islamic State is also on the rise, forcing more believers into hiding. The future of this situation is difficult to predict but it could easily get worse for Christians living in Bahrain.

Support For Believers. 
Because of the difficulties Christians face, making sure believers don’t feel alone is important. Open Doors works to make sure Christian know they are supported and prayed for. This is done through their partnerships with local organizations. Like many of its neighbouring countries, an increase in persecution is a possibility. Learning to endure and strengthen their faith in the process is important for the times ahead. 

Pray for Bahrain

Pray for believers from Muslim backgrounds who have been rejected from their families. Pray for comfort and acceptance from the Christian community around them.

Pray that true religious freedom will come about in practice, not just in theory.

Pray that Christians will have the courage to share the gospel with Muslims around them.