Christianity in Brunei

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Christianity in Brunei is the third largest religion practiced by about 10% of the population.[1]

Restrictions on religious freedom[edit]

Contact with Christians in other countries, the import of Bibles and public celebration of Christmas are banned by decree.[2] Christians in Brunei are not allowed to proselytise.[3] Schools are not allowed to teach Christianity.[3] If religious organisations fail to register, its members can be imprisoned.[3] Teaching of non-Muslim religions in schools is prohibited.[3] Marriages between Christians and Muslims are prohibited.[3] Brunei is the latest Muslim country to enact a law that makes apostasy a crime punishable with death. In 2013, it enacted Syariah (Sharia’a) Penal Code. Section 112(1) of the new law states that a Muslim who declares himself non-Muslim commits a crime punishable with death, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years, depending on evidence.[4] Under the required wait period between notification of law and its validity under Brunei’s constitution, its new apostasy law and corporal punishment will be applied starting October 2014, and capital punishment will be imposed starting October 2015.[5]

In 2015, following up on a 2014 ban on celebrations that could lead Muslims astray or damage their faith, the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah banned public Christmas celebrations. Private celebrations are permitted to continue, so long as they are kept secret from Muslims.[6]


In 1996 Protestants made up 1.3% of the population of Brunei, 0.6% Evangelical.[7]

Roman Catholic Church[edit]

There are three Roman Catholic parishes in Brunei.[9] They belong to the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam.[10] The Right Reverend Cornelius Sim is a bishop and the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei.[11] He was ordained bishop in 2005.[11]


  1. ^ "CIA World Factbook".
  2. ^ "Open Doors UK".
  3. ^ a b c d e "US Department of State on Brunei".
  4. ^ Brunei - Laws Criminalizing Apostasy Library of Congress (May 2014)
  5. ^ Rabiatul Kamit & Bandar Seri Begawan, Kedah Officials in Brunei to Observe Syariah Law, Brunei Times (16 May 2014)
  6. ^ "Brunei bans Christmas celebrations in public, including wearing Santa hats". 23 December 2015.
  7. ^ "".
  8. ^ a b c d Source of the list: The World Christian Encyclopedia, Second edition, Volume 1, p. 153
  9. ^ "the Roman Catholic Church in Brunei Darussalam". Archived from the original on 21 February 2008.
  10. ^ "the Roman Catholic Church in Brunei Darussalam". Archived from the original on 23 February 2008.
  11. ^ a b "the Roman Catholic Church in Brunei Darussalam". Archived from the original on 21 February 2008.