Mystery still surrounds an audio file released by a Middle Eastern media outlet alleging that a Kuwaiti prince has converted to Christianity.Earlier this month, an Arab satellite channel called Al-Haqiqa released an audio file allegedly recorded by a Prince Abdullah Al-Sabah. In the recording, he says he has left Islam for Christianity and added, "I believe if I am killed, I will be with Jesus Christ forever."
In the recording, Al-Sabah also speaks critically of Jihadist organizations, including those who recently won a majority of the seats in Egypt's new parliament.
"Groups of Islamists always wanted to attack different cities around the world but God protected and is still protecting the world," said the voice on the tape.
From the onset of its release, the Kuwaiti government stated that the audio recording was a fraud and denied that there was a prince by the name of "Abdullah Al-Sabah" in the Kuwaiti royal family.
In an article written by Marco Tosatti of the Vatican Insider, the name "Abdullah" does in fact appear in the family tree of the ruling family of Kuwait but not among living family members.
"In actual fact, the name Abdullah does not appear on the list of the 15 members of the royal family who rule this small, extremely wealthy country in different capacities," writes Tosatti.
"That isn't to say that this high-profile convert is not hidden somewhere within the extended family, under a different name."
One online source claimed that the "Abdullah Al-Sabah" on the audio file was Shaikh Faisal Al Abdullah Al Sabah, a Kuwaiti prince who in October 2010 was found guilty of murdering his nephew and was sentenced to death.
Once again, however, no independent confirmation has been given that the voice on the audio file and the convicted prince are one and the same.
As speculation over the validity of the audio file continues, the Kuwait News Agency reports that Mohammad Al-Nomas, minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, released a press statement encouraging peace and cooperation among the nation's Islamic majority and its Christian minority.
According to the Canadian-based organization The Voice of the Martyrs, Kuwait is more religiously tolerant than other Persian Gulf States.
"Religious tolerance in Kuwait is significantly higher than in most of the region. Immigrant religious minorities are permitted some worship facilities," reads VOM's website.
"[H]owever, proselytizing Muslims is forbidden, and Shariah (Islamic law) influences much of the legal system. Teaching Christianity is prohibited, even to legally recognized Christians."