Brunei sees high numbers of new converts
MORE than 500 new Muslim converts have been recorded annually in the sultanate in the last three years, according to the minister of religious affairs.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman said the trend of Muslim converts over the period has been encouraging.
“Alhamdulillah, our country recorded around 500 new converts to Islam each year for the last three years.
“This is a good number which the ministry should strive to maintain or increase for years to come,” he said on the sidelines of hosting a visit from a delegation of converts from the Islamic Da’wah Centre (PDI) from Kg Bebuloh on Saturday.
According to statistics from PDI, there were 537 converts in 2013 followed by 585 in 2014 while 513 converts were recorded last year in the sultanate, most of whom came from Brunei-Muara.
The minister said Kg Bebuloh has one of the largest groups of converts in one location in Brunei-Muara district. There are more than 300 Muslim converts in the village, accounting for half of its population of 600, who are mainly of Bisaya and Dusun ethnicity.
As the village’s residents are mainly converts, the ministry also established a Religious Activities House in the village to facilitate religious needs and events for the converts, said the minister.
“We also built Yayasan houses for these converts in the village as it serves in helping them to live in close proximity and harmoniously with their non-Muslim families and neighbours.”
Last year, 244 new Muslim converts were recorded in Brunei-Muara, the largest number nationwide, followed by Tutong with 130 converts and 94 and 45 in Belait and Temburong, respectively.
As of May this year, there were 232 new Muslim converts in the sultanate with 106 coming from Brunei-Muara district.
The Brunei Times