A new law may soon allow courts in Kuwait to sentence those convicted of blasphemy to death. Muslims who insult Allah, the Qur'an, Muslim prophets, or Muhammad's wives may receive the death sentence if the bill, which was approved by 40 members of Parliament while only six opposed it, is approved by Kuwait's leader, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Christians and other non-Muslim minorities will be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years for the same offense under the new law. Right now, blasphemy carries a sentence of one year and is defined as slander by Kuwait's penal code.
The amendment was introduced soon after the arrest of a Shiite Muslim accused of cursing Muhammad on the social networking site Twitter. A parliamentarian said that incidents of blasphemy on social networking site are on the rise and the new legislation is "needed to deter them." The increased penalties for blasphemy follows legislation introduced earlier this year to prohibit the construction of churches and other non-Islamic places of worship (for more, click here).
Please pray that Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will not pass this bill into law. Please also pray that Kuwaiti believers will be emboldened to share the gospel despite threats of persecution. Pray that, despite increasing restrictions, believers will continue to meet together for worship and encouragement (Hebrews 10:23-25).
For more information on persecution in Kuwait, go to the Kuwait Country Report.