Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“So Many Christians!”

My Kuwaiti friend was shaking his head in disbelief. He had been to the old city to pay a condolence call on a Friday, and happened by the Lighthouse compound near the Sheraton circle on a Friday morning, just as some of the services were getting out.

“I had NO idea!” he looked at me in absolute amazement.

I just laughed. When we first got here, we attended church on that compound; our church moved off only months ago, when the road construction work got seriously under way and parking increasingly became a problem. It was the most amazing experience on earth – there were the Indian Men’s Catholic services and the Philipine Evangelical service and the rock-music evangelical service and the staid Anglican services and the family Philipine Catholic services and . . . well, you get the picture. There are an amazing number of expatriate Christians in Kuwait. At any one time on the compound, there are about twelve different services going on, and no sooner does one finish and the participants exit, than the new group is coming in.

Now, churches meet all over Kuwait. They met in villas, they meet in schools, they meet in every neighborhood. Today, in our church, we asked for blessings on Kuwait, on the Emir and his family, and those in leadership positions in Kuwait. We prayed for the leaders of all the countries in our congregation (English, Irish, Scottish, South African, Chinese, Indian, Nigerian, Kenyan, Dutch, Egyptian, Ethiopian, American, Australian {I have forgotten a few, I am sure} . . . lots and lots of blessings!) Most of all, we thank God for the freedom to worship in Kuwait.

church_of_holy_sepulcher_from_lutheran_tower_tb_n123199.jpg
(This is not our church in Kuwait. This is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in Jerusalem. I was looking for a church that looked more Middle Eastern than Western, and this is what I could find!)

Our pastor also has a blog, q8bridge about which he says “The purpose of this blog is to enable a bridge to be built between Christians and Muslims, especially those living in Kuwait. Through questions and dialogue we hope to promote deep friendships and mutual understanding.”

He examines the beliefs we have in common, and where we differ, and some of the reasons why we differ. I urge you to have a look.

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February 29, 2008 - Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Spiritual

14 Comments »

  1. What a wonderful scene that is. Every faith is beautiful when it is properly worshiped and when it’s beaming with spirituality. I’m a big advocate of interfaith dialogue because pluralism breeds mutual understanding, not only in religion, but in race, sex, and nationality.

    I do have one question: What is the overwhelming nationality of Christians in Kuwait?

    Comment by Angelo | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. Angelo, I can only make a guess, and I am likely to be wrong. There are thousands of Indian Christians and Philipine Christians. The majority of the westerners are Christian (a surprising number are Muslim!) There are a lot of Syrian Christians and Lebanese Christians. I am astonished at the variety of nationalities, and varieties in the way we express our belief! Like you, I love the diversity, and that we all share one primary faith, no matter what our expression.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. I would like to go and see the church someday!

    Comment by Big Pearls | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. There are so many, Big Pearls! Some are like real churches – independent buildings – and some are just homes with an altar set up. There are so many different kinds. But you might find a walk on the compound amazing. . . it’s near that row of restaurants near the Sheraton roundabout.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. Hmm! now we have something in common, we go to the same compound for service ( although not the same servic, i go to TLC ) … what you know might bump in to each other and never know ! he he !

    Comment by GreY | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. Houses of Satan

    Comment by talisman | February 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. I don’t like organized religion! thats where money gets involved.

    so what is the message of Christianity?

    Comment by error | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  8. GreY – My church moved off the compound when the big traffic and parking problems began. We probably bumped into one another before, and never knew it!

    Talisman – as long as you keep it clean, Mr. T.

    Error – Sometimes I agree. It is so much easier to be religious/spiritual when we don’t have to bump up against the realities of loving one another. :-/ I hate it when we argue amongst ourselves over little things, and let the big things – love of God, love of our neighbor – get lost in the heat of battle.

    The message? Yikes. I am not a theologian, just a seeker, but here goes: God loves us. He asks us only to love him, and only him, (no other gods) and to love our fellow creatures. We are to protect the weak, give generously what we have, and live in hope of the next world. Because we are human, and sinful, God sent Jesus Christ as the one perfect sacrifice, to show us how much he loves us and to give us an example, here on earth, of how we are to live with one another. He was without sin, and his death paid the price for our sins, if we accept the gift.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  9. Wish more people in Kuwait could thank their Gods for the freedom to worship as they saw right. So many Hindoos, Sikhs and Buddhists living and working in Kuwait but alas, they cannot worship as they please for they’ve all been accorded “a children of a lesser God status” by the many enlightened visionaries of Kuwait. And also, please spare a thought to our agnostic brothers and sisters who must find the going tough in a orthodoxy such as, Kuwait.

    Comment by A Seventh Day Adventist in Rawdah | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  10. Morning, BL! I knew that was true in Saudi Arabia, but I did not know that was also true here. But I DO see Bhuddas displayed openly, and small shrines, like in restaurants . . . so there might be some leniency?

    I can’t imagine how hard is to be agnostic/athiestic living here; it is so alien to my nature. I do read blogs like Ayya because she is so analytical, so insightful and so painfully honest in her observations; I find her very brave, and I almost always learn something.

    It occurs to me that to practice agnosticism or athiesm, you don’t need a temple or a mosque or a church, it is an absence more than a presence, isn’t it?

    As usual, a thought provoking comment, and thank you.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 5, 2008 | Reply

  11. With all due respect , compared to the Kingdom most places on earth barring the Pen. at Sing Sing would appear lenient. I am sorry but you got to be kidding me on religious freedom for minorities in Kuwait. Why cannot Q8 do an Oman, Bahrein or a Dubai as far as freedom of worship goes?

    Comment by Anonymous | March 6, 2008 | Reply

  12. LLLOOOLLLLLL, BL, there are some areas where I am just purely ignorant, or worse, oblivious. I am just thankful to be able to worship here.

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 6, 2008 | Reply

  13. If any reborn Christians are interested in forming a home cellgroup for praise and worship and home service, drop me an e-mail. I live in Muscat, Oman (Expat)

    Comment by Steve | June 2, 2008 | Reply

  14. pls visit& pray

    Comment by christministries | February 16, 2010 | Reply


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