• Pray for open doors for Muslims to hear and receive the Gospel.
• Pray for a recognition of spiritual need amid such material wealth.
• Pray for the birth of an indigenous church focused on sharing the Gospel with all Qataris.
The State of Qatar, unlike many other Middle Eastern nations, has successfully avoided the unrest and violence of the Arab Spring. The peninsula nation bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia was part of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire until 1918, and then operated under British protection until 1971. The nation’s power has resided solely in the Al Thani family since the mid 1800s – from the days of pearl fishing and being one of the poorest Gulf states to the nation’s current vast oil wealth. In 2007, Qatar was considered to have the highest per capita income in the world and the second lowest unemployment rate.
The Sunni Muslim nation is home to many South and Southeast Asians, Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, and Iranians, who comprise 90% of Qatar’s workforce. In fact, Qatar has the highest rate of population growth in the world. The population remains relatively small though, and Qatar has the highest net migration rate in the world. The nation has an emirate government with a mixture of civil and Islamic law. Elections were held in 1999, providing the nation’s first opportunity for Muslim women to vote and stand for office.
Nearly 80% of the population is Muslim, and it is forbidden to criticize the ruling family or Islam or to share the Gospel. Many expatriates have been forced to leave the country as a result of speaking about Christ. Immigrant Christians are allowed to practice their faith, though they are considered second hand citizens. It is also difficult for Christians to gather together, as government policy strictly regulates the meetings. Even so, land has been offered up to Christian communities to build the first churches in Qatar since the spread of Islam.
Capital City: Doha
Government: Absolute monarchy
Major People Groups: 16% Persian (Irani); 14% Qatari Arab; 13% Palestinian Arab; 10% Lebanese Arab; 10% African Bantu; plus 15 others
Religion: Muslim 80%, Christian 13%, Hindu 3%, Agnostic 2%, Buddhist 2%
Language: Arabic, Persian
GDP Per Capita: $85,300
Literacy Rate: 93.5%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 87.3%
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