OVERVIEW: Qatar is an extremely affluent country. However, in 2017 most Arab countries severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups. The few Qatari believers living inside the country must worship in absolute secrecy, while Christians who are not citizens must worship in a government-controlled compound known as “Church City.” Qatari citizens are not allowed to visit Church City. About 65 percent of the country’s population is composed of foreign workers, and roughly 6 percent of the workers are Christian, mostly Filipinos, Indians and Lebanese. In recent years, a few expatriate Christians have been deported for evangelistic activities among native Qataris.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: Nearly all native Qataris are Muslim, and most are Sunni Muslim.
PERSECUTOR: The government and the community persecutes those who leave Islam.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN QATAR: Converting to Christianity means losing everything, and the small number of Qatari believers must gather for teaching or worship in absolute secrecy. Although sharing the gospel with Muslims is strictly forbidden, some Christians still take great risks to evangelize Qatari citizens.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: Qataris can easily access the Bible through the internet, and some travel to Bahrain to purchase Bibles. It is not illegal to own a Bible, but being discovered with one would cause immediate problems within the family.
VOM WORK: VOM provides support to Christian converts from Islam.