Voice of the Martyrs, country to pray for this week: Brunei

Brunei’s economy is based almost entirely on oil and natural gas, and its gross domestic product is the highest in Asia. The same family has led the country for more than six centuries.

Category: Restricted Nation
Religion: Muslim 65.3%, Christian 11.4%
Ideology: Islam
Head of State: Sultan/Prime Minister Sir Hassanal Bolkiah

Islam is the official religion, and it is the only religion taught in school. While religious freedom is guaranteed under the constitution, Christians face a variety of restrictions, including confiscation of religious materials intended for distribution and sale, and prohibitions on religious teaching in private, non-Islamic schools. Evangelism and conversion to Christianity are prohibited, Bible importation is forbidden and the government regularly ignores requests to build or expand churches. Even religious symbols on imported magazines are censored. There are only three registered churches in the country, all built during the colonial era. No new churches have been permitted, so believers must meet secretly. VOM smuggled Bibles into the country for three years, effectively meeting the need for Bibles in the nation by 2011, but we continue to monitor the need.

Daily Prayer Requests:
February 12:  Pray that the majority Malay people will be reached with the gospel.
February 13:  Evangelism is illegal, and missionaries are banned.  Christian materials are allowed only for personal use.
February 14:  Pray for continued unity and perseverance among Christians.
February 15:  Brunei's Muslim monarch dates back to the 15th century.  Pray for positive change in the government.
February 16:  Religions other than Islam are often infiltrated and monitored.  Pray for spiritual openness.
February 17:  Pray for the encouragement and growth of believers who meet in secret.
February 18:  Pray for Sultan/Prime Minister Sir Hassanal Bolkiah