Strict new Islamic laws in Brunei which make homosexual activity an offence punishable by stoning to death have received much condemnation in the media and by celebrities.
But the laws also affect the Christian community, with conversion from Islam and insulting the Prophet Muhammad both carrying the death penalty. Some have questioned why the media are focusing on the LGBT community while ignoring the impact on Christians.
Open Doors USA told the Christian Post, ‘The newest and third phase of the law is difficult news for Christian converts who are expected to have to go into deeper hiding.’
The first phase, which rolled out five years ago, already curtailed the freedoms of Christians and other faiths by making it a crime to ‘persuade, tell or encourage’ Muslim children under the age of 18 ‘to accept the teachings of religions other than Islam’.
Brunei ranks 36th on the Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 worst countries for persecution against Christians. In 2015, the Sultan of Brunei cancelled Christmas celebrations.