Christians in Israel enjoy a higher level of religious freedom than in most other countries in the Middle East, although, being a Jewish state, Jewish citizens receive preferential treatment. Messianic Jews and those who convert from Judaism to Christianity may be branded traitors by ultra-orthodox Jewish organisations, while converts from a . . . Read More

Ivory Coast

After years of political conflict, the October 2015 elections were said by Freedom House to be “arguably the freest, fairest and most peaceful in the country’s history”. However, the legacy of past violence looms large, and there have been several recent examples of increasing Islamist militancy, such as the killing . . . Read More


Jordan has long been one of the Middle East’s more religiously open countries, but the tide is turning. Expatriate Christians and historical Christian communities are relatively free – as long as they do not evangelise Muslims. But Christians from Muslim backgrounds face serious oppression from local authorities, Muslim religious leaders . . . Read More


Kazakhstan’s repressive government seeks to control all areas of life. Religious freedom has been further restricted by recent legislation, while the government is using the threat of militant Islam as a pretext to clamp down. Converts to Christianity from a Muslim background come under the most pressure – from the government, . . . Read More


Most Kenyans are Christian, but violence against Christians has increased in recent years – predominantly at the hands of Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab, which continues to target Christians in regions near the border with Somalia, where the group is based. Militants cross into Kenya to raid towns or attack buses, . . . Read More


The atmosphere in Kuwait is becoming increasingly hostile – though not yet violent – towards non-Muslims. Islamic law prescribes a wide range of rules for personal, family and community life. Christians from Muslim backgrounds are seen as second-class, foreigners and infidels, and are prevented from participating in community activities. Expatriate . . . Read More


Starting with the 2005 Tulip revolution, a bloodless overthrow of the communist regime, Kyrgyzstan’s democratically elected government is unique in the Central Asia region. Kyrgyzstan is predominantly Muslim – mainly folk Islam in the countryside – but there is increasing radicalisation, with more than 330 Kyrgyz citizens known to have . . . Read More


Christianity is viewed as a “Western ideology” in Laos, and those who adhere to it are considered foreign agents and enemies. The Marxist-Leninist government monitors all churches, and its permission is required for all conversions, evangelism and church activities. Christian converts from Buddhism or animism are seen to bring shame . . . Read More


Complex, besieged and dysfunctional on many levels (it took 29 months to break a deadlock and pick a president), Lebanon nonetheless is an open society where freedoms of the press, assembly, expression, and religion are protected by law. Since the end of its 15-year civil war in 1990, Christians and . . . Read More


Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, Libya has been reduced to chaos, with Islamist groups filling the power vacuum left by the former dictator. It was in Libya in February 2015 that 20 Egyptian Copts and a Ghanaian were beheaded by the Islamic State group. Only a . . . Read More