Religion in Qatar

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Religion in Qatar (residents, 2010)[1][2]

  Islam (67.7%)
  Christianity (13.8%)
  Hinduism (13.8%)
  Buddhism (3.1%)
  Others (0.7%)
  Unaffiliated (0.9%)

Islam is the majority religion in Qatar. The vast majority of Qataris adhere to Islam, with a small number of naturalised Qataris keeping their religion of birth. Other religions represented in Qatar are practiced by immigrant communities. According to the 2004 census, 77.5% of the population are Muslim, 8.5% are Christian and 14% are "other" (mostly followers of Hinduism and other Indian religions). According to 2010 data collected by the Pew Forum 67.7% are Muslim, 13.8% are Hindu, 13.8% are Christian, 3.1% are Buddhist, 0.7% follow other religions and 0.9% are unaffiliated to any religion.

Qatar has also hosted numerous interfaith dialogue conferences.


Main article: Islam in Qatar

The state religion in Qatar is Islam.[3] Most Qataris belong to the Sunni sect of Islam.[4][5][6] Religious policy is set by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Islamic instruction is compulsory for Muslims in all state-sponsored schools.[3]

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.

The Fanar Islamic Center and Mosque is located in the old neighbourhood of Doha, adjacent to Souq Waqif. The center provides Arabic lessons to beginners and intermediate speakers.

While the majority[citation needed] of Qataris adhere to the Wahabi sect of Islam, all four madhhabs – Hanbali, Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki – are freely practiced by non-Qatari communities.

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.[7]

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.[8]

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’.[9]

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 or Muslim Brotherhood abroad.


Main article: Christianity in Qatar

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).[10] 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.[11] A 2015 study estimates some 200 believers in Christ from a Muslim background, though not all of those are necessarily citizens.[12]


Immigrant workers from India and Southeast Asia mostly practice Hinduism. 13.8% of Qatar's population is Hindu.


Buddhism is represented by 3.1% of the population of Qatar, compromising of migrant workers from South-East Asia.


  1. ^ Global Religious Landscape. Pew Forum.
  2. ^ "Population By Religion, Gender And Municipality March 2004". Qatar Statistics Authority. 
  3. ^ a b "Qatar". State. 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  4. ^ "Tiny Qatar's growing global clout". BBC. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Qatar's modern future rubs up against conservative traditions". Reuters. 27 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Rising power Qatar stirs unease among some Mideast neighbors". Reuters. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Class of 2015 graduates honoured". Gulf Times. 6 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "CILE Center – about us". CILE. 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation publishing and delfina foundation announce winner of Arab writing residency programme". Al Bawaba. 5 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Global Religious Landscape. Pew Forum.
  11. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report 2006". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Johnstone, Patrick; Miller, Duane Alexander (2015). "Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census". Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 11: 17. Retrieved 28 October 2015.

See also[edit]