Breakthrough is a monthly call to pray for the Arab world. In each edition we focus on a different country of the region, praying for ‘breakthrough’ over a particular stronghold.
What do you know about Kuwait? Is it a big or a small country? How do the people dress? How many Kuwaitis are Muslim? Are they Sunni or Shia? Are they conservative or liberal? Are they rich or poor? Perhaps you know the answer to all or only some of these questions. Not all of them are answered below!
Kuwait is one of those countries that most of us have heard of, but few of us know anything about. Maybe we assume that being in the Gulf they are just like other Gulf nationalities. Perhaps they are. Perhaps they’re not!
We want to encourage you to do your own research this month, away from our website, and find out something new about the Kuwaiti people. As a suggestion, you could do an image search and find out what a typical Kuwaiti home looks like. Visual images are always helpful when we want to get a better idea of a place or people. This may seem like a bit of fun, but if Kuwait is an unknown entity for you, getting to know it better will help you to pray with more zeal.
Country focus: Kuwait
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)
Kuwait is a small nation situated in the northeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on the Persian Gulf and borders the countries of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The population is an estimated 4.2 million, but less than a third of this represents Kuwaiti nationals. The remaining two thirds are mostly other Arab and Asian nationalities.
Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy, operating under a mixture of English, French and Islamic law. Because of the high number of migrant workers, only 76.7 percent of the population are Muslim. Just over 17 percent are Christian, but very few of these are Kuwaiti nationals. Kuwait was under the protection of Great Britain from 1899 until 1961, when it gained independence. In 1990, it was invaded and occupied by Iraq. A US-led UN coalition defended Kuwait in the First Gulf War, which ended in 1991. Kuwait has since gone on to become one of the richest countries of the world.
The people of Kuwait need waking up to their own spiritual emptiness. Kuwait is a wealthy nation and this is a big distraction to a people who might otherwise be hungry for the truth. Islam is also a big part of the Kuwaiti identity, playing a large role in politics, though for many, it is perhaps more of a cultural identity than a deeply held ideology. However, young people – being more tuned in to the ever-changing world around them – are growing increasingly dissatisfied with the way things are. This dissatisfaction either pushes them further into Islam (to extremism) or further away from religion (to atheism).
- Pray for God to open the eyes of the Kuwaiti people. May they come to see that worldly goods and empty rituals cannot truly satisfy the soul.
- Pray for the salvation of Kuwait’s ruling Al-Sabah family. The emir is Sheikh Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his heir, the crown prince, is Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Pray that these men and their families would have opportunities to hear and respond to the message of the gospel.
- Pray for the young people of Kuwait, that they would not be lured by the false promises of extremism, nor reject all religions as they reject Islam. Pray for the Holy Spirit to draw many to the Father.
- Lift up the small number of Kuwaiti believers as they live out their faith. Many keep their beliefs secret, fearing for their safety. Others are under immense pressure from family and friends who don’t accept their decision to follow Christ. Pray for these brothers and sisters of ours to be bold, have strength and be encouraged.
Thank you for your prayers!
The Arab World Media Team