How Muslim Countries Persecutes Other Religions When They Are In the Majority

Last Updated on May 6, 2022 by Shaun Snapp

Executive Summary

  • Muslims constantly say that they respect other religions, and for this reason, no one should criticize Islam.
  • We review the Muslim track record for respecting the rights of other religions.


Muslims constantly look for sympathy by claiming that Muslims worldwide and historically have respected other people’s faiths. We will review the persecution of Christians in Muslim controlled countries to see how accurate is this claim.

See our references for this article and related articles at this link.

Open Doors on Christian Persecution

Notice where the most persecution of Christians occurs. The darker the color, leading towards red, is where the Open Doors says has the most persecution.

Do you notice anything about the countries that have the most Christian persecution? They are mostly Muslim countries. However, don’t we hear from Muslims that they respect other religions? 

India is one country that really stands out that is not a Muslim majority with a high degree of Christians’ persecution.

What does Open Doors say about India?

Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, incidents against Christians have increased, and Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences. The view of the Hindu nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith—including Christianity—is viewed as non-Indian. Also, converts to Christianity from Hindu backgrounds or tribal religions are often extremely persecuted by their family members and communities.

As the Christian persecution in Sri Lanka and Nepal, Hindus indicate that Hindus are second to Muslims in persecuting countries.

Let us review the entries of the most Muslim countries to see what happens when Muslims have control.

Muslim Country #1: Christian Persecution in Iran

Iranian society is governed by Islamic law, which means the rights and professional possibilities for Christians are heavily restricted. Christians are forbidden from sharing their faith with non-Christians in Iran, and it is illegal to produce Christian literature or hold church services in Farsi. Converts from Islam face persecution from the government. If Christians attend an underground house church, they face the constant threat of arrest.

Muslim Country #2: Christian Persecution in Nigeria

Only part of Nigeria is Muslim, so the persecution occurs in the North of the country.

Christians in the northern region and in the Middle Belt suffer from violence perpetrated by Islamic extremist groups such as Hausa Fulani militant herdsmen and Boko Haram. Such violence often results in loss of life, physical injury, as well as loss of property. As a result of the violence, Christians are also being dispossessed of their land and means of livelihood—and Christians with a Muslim background also face rejection from their own families.

Muslim Country #3: Christian Persecution in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s strict branch of Islam governs every aspect of life for its citizens. Openly practicing other religions is illegal. All Saudi citizens are required to be Muslim, and
non-citizens of other faiths are expected to worship privately. The spike in pressure
from family life from the 2019 to the 2020 World Watch List reflects the brutal reality for
Christians who have converted from Islam— these believers risk violence because of their
decision to follow Jesus.

Muslim Country #4: Christian Persecution in the Maldives

The Maldives’ constitution requires all citizens to be Muslim. Conversion from Islam means that someone can be stripped of their citizenship and punished under Shariah law. Even foreign workers who are Christians are closely watched, which makes church life extremely difficult and practically nonexistent. Churches are outlawed, and openly carrying the Bible is illegal. The country is so tightly controlled by Islamic law that there is not even a Bible fully translated into the native language of most citizens of the Maldives.

Muslim Country #5: Christian Persecution in Iraq

Many Iraqi Christians are still recovering from the brutal reign of ISIS, and for some
believers, that threat has not fully diminished. ISIS still has places of safety in northern Iraq.
Additionally, Christians are dealing with a drastic reduction in their population since
ISIS began their attacks, along with trauma for those believers who have stayed in their
country. Iraq remains very tribal, which can also mean significant pressure for believers
who come from Muslim tribes—conversion to Christianity is seen as a rejection of heritage
and family.

Muslim Country #6: Christian Persecution in Mauritiana

For Christians in Mauritania, public worship carries a constant threat. Even churches that
are largely tolerated have to be careful so they aren’t accused of proselytizing Muslims, and for Christians who converted from Islam, public worship is often impossible. Baptisms must often be carried out in secret. Mauritania may be an increasingly dangerous place for Christians, as there is fear radical Islam may be on the rise.

Muslim Country #7: Christian Persecution in Qatar

Christians in Qatar, especially converts from Islam to Christianity, remain under extremely
high pressure from the government and society—risking discrimination, harassment, police monitoring and intimidation. Even one’s family can be dangerous in a culture that sees conversion as a betrayal. In the Persian Gulf country, Islam is seen as the only acceptable faith, and conversion remains a capital offense. As for church gatherings, while Muslims are free to worship in public, Christians can only worship in private houses or designated places.

Muslim Country #8: Christian Persecution in Brunei

Converting away from Islam to Christianity is considered illegal and punishable by law. Known converts are not recognized as official citizens and can be legally separated from their spouse and children. Some Christian groups are not permitted as churches and must submit operational reports to the government every year. Strict Shariah law regulates all of society, including Christians.

Muslim Country #9: Christian Persecution in Bangladesh

Christians who convert away from Islamic or tribal religions must gather in small house-churches or secret groups due to fear of attack. Protestant and Catholic groups are targeted with attacks and death threats. Christians who belong to ethnic minority groups like the Rohingya are doubly vulnerable, as they are harassed because of both their religion and their ethnicity.

Muslim Country #10: Christian Persecution in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, all Christian communities are targeted by radical Islamists—particularly where the Christian community is in the minority—but some denominations are more heavily targeted. In 2019, the country saw a rise in communal violence, which displaced millions of people. In some areas, Christians are denied access to community resources and/or are ostracized from society. In some regions, such as Ogaden, Islamic mobs have been known to attack churches.

Muslim Country #11: Christian Persecution in Malaysia

Every ethnic Malay is expected to be Muslim. Whoever deviates from this is viewed as going against not just the constitution, but also against society at large, their family and their neighborhood. Roman Catholics and Methodists are watched by the authorities and NGOs, but non-traditional Protestant groups are more often targeted, as these tend to be more active in testifying about their faith.

Muslim Country #12: Christian Persecution in Ethiopia

Converts from Islam to Christianity are put under pressure from family and society to recant their faith. They can be expelled from the family home and from their jobs, and face problems with the government. Expatriate Christian communities are tolerated, but their church facilities are restricted, and Christian meetings are sometimes monitored for political activity. All religious organizations must register with the government, and monitoring of Christians and their activities has intensified from the 2019 to the 2020 reporting period.

Muslim Country #13: Christian Persecution in Ethiopia

This report is extremely informative. What it illustrates is that countries that are Muslim majority, or even a part of the country that is majority Muslim, consistently persecutes Christians (and non-Christians as well of course, but the topic of this report is Christian persecution). For Christians, living in a Muslim majority country or region means losing one’s freedom of religion.

This is consistent with what the Islamic sources say about how non-Muslims should be treated, as the following quotation explains.

There is simply no other religion on earth that draws such sharp distinction between its own members and others, or devotes as much of its holiest text toward condemning and dehumanizing those who merely choose not to follow its dogma. – The Religion of Peace

Muslims on Respecting Other Faiths

Muslims receive our Golden Pinocchio Award for saying that Muslims respect other religions.


On its own, this listing, before getting into history or highly anti non-Muslim quotes in the Koran and Hadith, immediately call into question the accuracy of this claim that Muslims deserve to be respected when they are in the minority because they respect other faiths when Muslims are in the majority.