Kuwait’s image ‘tarnished’ by church fiasco

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
There are currently nearly 500,000 Christians living in the Gulf state (image for illustrative purposes only) (AFP/Getty Images)

There are currently nearly 500,000 Christians living in the Gulf state (image for illustrative purposes only) (AFP/Getty Images)

Calls by members of the Kuwaiti government to ban the construction of Christian churches have damaged the Gulf state’s international reputation, a senior religious official has said.

Emmanuel Gharib, pastor of the National Evangelical Church in Kuwait, told the Arab Times that those behind a recent proposal to prohibit the building of new churches should issue a public apology.

In February, Kuwaiti MP Osama Al-Munawer announced via Twitter that he planned to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in the country.

He later played down his remarks, clarifying that existing churches should remain but the construction of new non-Islamic places of worship should be banned.

Controversy surrounding the proposal went into overdrive in March when Saudi Arabia’s top religious authority, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, apparently told a delegation Kuwait that all Christian churches in the Arabian peninsula should be destroyed.

Gharib claimed that more than half a million around the world had expressed disappointment over proposals to remove Christian churches, which were contrary to Kuwait’s constitution, the paper reported.

According to figures published in the Kuwait Times in February, there are currently 500,000 Christians residing in the Gulf state, most of whom are of Turkish, Iraqi or Palestinian descent.

The number of Kuwaiti nationals who are Christian has fallen from 500 in 2007 to just 50 this year, the daily reported.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
How to increase productivity

How to increase productivity

With the desire to develope skills, knowledge, and competence...

Should I hire friends?

Should I hire friends?

Tamara Pupic looks at whether you should hire friends to work...

Building a BIZness: Q&A with Hazel Jackson

Building a BIZness: Q&A with Hazel Jackson

Since landing in Dubai in the 1990s, Hazel Jackson has built...

Most Discussed