CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION STATUS
There are an estimated 11,900 Christians in Qatar, accounting for roughly 8.5% of the population (CIA World Factbook). Islam is Qatar’s state religion. Under the country’s legal system, based on sharia law, proselytizing is illegal, and conversion from Islam is officially punishable by death. The government recognizes only Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, and public worship and outreach by non-Muslim groups are restricted. New Christian groups must receive official status, which can be difficult to obtain before meeting legally. There are no crucifixes or paintings on the outside walls of church buildings, as it is forbidden to display non-Muslim symbols.
Qatar is one of the most liberal of the Gulf States towards women, legally permitting them to drive and vote. Male and female adult literacy rates are almost equal at 89.5% and 88%, respectively.
Qatar has a poor record of respecting labor rights, with employers often accused of promising high wages, then underpaying workers, and subjecting them to unfair contracts. Qatar also struggles with human trafficking due to the regular influx of immigrants.
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