On Friday, Kuwaiti lawyer Hani Hussain revealed he will be filing a lawsuit against Muslim cleric Dr. Othman Al Khamees on behalf of three local Christians.

In a series of tweets, the attorney said the clients asked him to sue Al Khamees because he offended the cross during one of his religious sermons.

"After being appointed by 3 of our Kuwaiti Christian brothers, I am going to be filing a case with the public prosecution office against the cleric (the accused) who was charged with stirring religious strife months ago. This is in relation to a video in which he was seen calling on people to insult the cross," the lawyer wrote in one of his posts. 

In another, Hussain posted a video in which he called on Kuwait's Ministry of Interior to take immediate action against the cleric for constantly using "hate speech" in his sermons.

The ever-controversial cleric issued an edict banning Muslims from wearing any garment that has a cross on it. The only exception would be if the Christian symbol is in a "place where it's insulted, like on a sock" or is invisible.

"If the cross is visible and is close to a person's head or chest, that's not allowed. You can go to any tailor and he'll just sew something on top of it," Al-Khamees said in his edict, which dates back to 2018.

"The same thing goes for satanic symbols, they should be covered up with a cloth," he added. 

Kuwaiti Christians who recently spotted the cleric's statement were infuriated by it, prompting them to take action against Al Khamees, who is now set to face a trial in the case.

Many Kuwaitis are for the legal action

"Insulting different religions and faiths means one has misunderstood the teachings of Islam. Therefore, we stand by our brother, attorney Hani Hussain, in taking on this case as it'll bring justice to Christians who are our partners in this country."

"What he said is absolutely uncalled for and we completely reject it"

"Good on you Mr. Hani. Since he's called a cleric, he should be a role model and reject things that cause religious strife. He should at least respect our Christian countrymen and women. Just say it's prohibited for Muslims to wear the cross, but why call on them to insult it?! To the people who are all for what he said, shame on you." 

Some people supported the cleric

"You're defending Christians against a good cleric??? I hope that you'll invite me to the hearings so that I'll defend him." 

Others were surprised at the existence of a Kuwaiti Christian community

"I just discovered that there are Kuwaiti Christians, I always thought Gulf countries are entirely made up of Muslims." 

Kuwaiti Christians at a glance

Kuwait has a local population of around 260 Christians who hold the country's citizenship. According to Al Arabiya, "there are 12 families who identify as Christian-born Kuwaitis and are believed to have had equal rights compared to their Muslim countrymen." 

Though Christian nationals are a minority, there are over 800,000 non-Kuwaiti Christians residing in the Gulf nation. 

Bahrain is the only other GCC country that hosts Christian nationals and its local community is made up of around 1,000 people.