September 10 | Brunei – The Good News of Jesus Christ is reaching the Bruneians through today’s technology. Some of them go to the extent of looking for Christians to talk about Jesus. Please pray for the Christian children in Brunei, to be ready to share their hope in Christ.
BRUNEI - officially the Nation of Brunei, “the Abode of Peace,” is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, and it is separated into two parts by the Sarawak district of Limbang. It is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo, with the remainder of the island belonging to Malaysia and Indonesia. Brunei’s population was 401,890 in July 2011. (Wikipedia)
OIL RICH - Brunei has the second highest Human Development Index among the South East Asia nations after Singapore, and is classified as a developed country.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brunei is ranked 5th in the world by gross domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity. The IMF also states in a 2011 estimate that Brunei was one of two countries (the other being Libya) with their public debt 0% of the national GDP. Forbes also ranks Brunei as the fifth richest nation out of 182 nations due to its extensive petroleum and natural gas fields. (Wikipedia)
CHRISTIANS represent approximately 10% of Bruneians however their activities are strictly limited:
Christianity is the religion of about 10% of the population of Brunei. Contact with Christians in other countries, the import of Bibles and public celebration of Christmas are banned by decree. Christians in Brunei are not allowed to proselytize. Schools are not allowed to teach Christianity. If religious organizations fail to register, its members can be imprisoned. Teaching of non-Muslim religions in schools is prohibited. Marriages between Christians and Muslims are prohibited. People, who change their religion from Islam to another, are subject to societal and official pressure. There was 0.6% Evangelicals in 1996. (Wikipedia)
OPEN DOORS – warns of the threat posed by Sharia Law:
About two-thirds of the people in this tiny Islamic nation are ethnic Malays. Although in theory all other religions may be practised in peace, in practice only non-Malays are allowed to choose their faith. If a Malay converts, this ‘disturbs peace and harmony’ and they are automatically scheduled for re-education to Islam. The monitoring of Christian meetings increased in 2011. In October the Sultan announced the introduction of an Islamic Criminal Law which will complicate the situation for the Christian minority further, especially those known to have converted.
Since most Christians in Brunei are either expatriots and migrants, the government’s strategy seems to be to isolate them from any religious interaction with the Malayan Muslim population.
“He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thes. 2:14)