Persecution of Non-Muslims (Brunei)

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Note that the persecution of apostates and the persecution of homosexuals are covered in separate pages

Seven Christians participating in a well-organized prayer program are arrested for alleged "cult" activities and detained under Brunei's Internal Security Act. Five now released, but three remain in detention[edit]

Five of seven Christians arrested in December and January for alleged "cult" activities and detained under Brunei's Internal Security Act have been released. It was not known if any conditions were attached to their release, which occurred during the week of February 12, but they were reportedly told not to leave the country or talk about their detention, according to a source who did not want to be identified.

Two Christians [corection: three] remain in detention. Two other believers called in for questioning on February 22 were released the same day.

A source close to the case said the Christians were detained because of their participation in a well-organized prayer program.
. . .

The U.S. State Department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom notes that Brunei's "Constitution provides for freedom of religion; however, the Government imposes some restrictions on non-Islamic faiths." For example, "proselytizing by faiths other than official Islam is not permitted.
Five Christians Released in Brunei
Jeff Taylor, Christianity Today, March 1, 2001

Half a year later, three still remain in detention while Christians continue to face government intimidation. Brunei's Internal Security Department are concerned that organized prayer programs are a threat to "stability"[edit]

Officers from Brunei's Internal Security Department (ISD) have questioned indigenous church leaders during the last few months about an organized prayer program authorities are concerned is a threat to the stability of the Southeast Asian Muslim sultanate.

"Everyone who is in any sort of leadership position in the indigenous church -- youth, Sunday school, church council -- has been called up for interrogation," said a source close to the situation.
. . .
It is not known exactly how many church leaders have been questioned, but media reports and local church sources have cited numbers ranging from 12 to 100.
. . .
Seven Christians were arrested in December and January for alleged "cult" activities, and materials describing a systemic prayer program for the country were reportedly discovered in possession of one of the believers. Since then, indigenous and non-indigenous Christians have been questioned by authorities, who fear evangelism among the country's predominately Muslim population could disturb religious harmony.
. . .

Three of the seven Christians arrested -- Malai Taufick Haji Malai Mashor, Mohammed Fredie Chong Abdullah and Yunus Murang -- remain imprisoned, according to church sources. Taufick and Chong are Muslim converts to Christianity. Yunus Murang was sentenced to two years in prison for illegally importing and possessing Indonesian Bibles.