Religion in Qatar
Qatar is a multi-religious society like most of the Persian Gulf countries with waves of migration over the last 30 years, Muslims form 67.7% of the Qatari population, Christians make up 13.8% and Hindus make up another 13.8% followed by Buddhists at 3.1% of the overall population, 0.7% follow other religions and 0.9% are unaffiliated to any religion, Qatar is also home to numerous other religions mostly from the Middle East and Asia.
Qatar has also hosted numerous interfaith dialogue conferences.
The state religion in Qatar is Islam. Most Qataris belong to the Sunni sect of Islam. Shiites comprise around 10% of Qatar's Muslim population. Religious policy is set by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Islamic instruction is compulsory for Muslims in all state-sponsored schools.
The state mosque is the Mohammed Bin Abdul Wahab mosque, which is located in the Dafna neighbourhood and was designed by renowned Qatari architect Ibrahim Jaidah, drawing on traditional Qatari architecture.
At a tertiary level of education Islamic Studies is taught at Qatar University, and at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Faculty of Islamic Studies where a master's degree is offered. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the consort of the Father Emir and mother of current Emir, is the most notable graduate.
Education City is also home to the Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics [CILE], a think tank founded in 2012 and headed by Swiss political philosopher Professor Tariq Ramadan, of Oxford University.
Islam’s role in scientific discovery has also been an area of interest for the Qatar Foundation, and recently, the Society for Muslim Scientists was established with prominent members. In 2010, the joint venture between Bloomsbury Publishing and Qatar Foundation began, which saw them publish the book, ‘Science in Islam’.
Political Islam is not a feature of the Qatari system, with an absence of local Muslim Brotherhood societies, but Qatar, especially the current Emir, are considered the best friend of the Muslim Brotherhood abroad.
The Christian community in Qatar is a diverse mix of European, North and South American, Asian, Middle Eastern and African expatriates. They form around 13.8% of the total population (2010). No foreign missionary groups operate openly in the country. In May 2005, the Qatari Government leased a piece of property on the outskirts of Doha to the representatives of Christian churches in the country for the construction of Church buildings. A 2015 study estimates some 200 believers in Christ from a Muslim background, though not all of those are necessarily citizens.
Buddhism is represented by 3.1% of the population of Qatar, compromising of migrant workers from South-East Asia.
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