• Pray for the nullification of laws banning proselytism.
• Pray for discernment among Christians seeking to discreetly share the Gospel.
• Pray for more discipleship training for Christian expatriates working in the Emirates.
In the span of only one generation, the United Arab Emirates, once dependent on fishing, has grown and stabilized an oil-based economy consistent with those of leading West European nations. The Middle Eastern nation borders the Gulf of Oman and lies between Oman and Saudi Arabia. The flat, barren land lacks natural freshwater resources as reddish desert wasteland merges with coastal plain. The nation is made up of seven Emirates, one of which, Dubai, is known as a global business center and serves as a popular tourist destination because of its unique architecture.
Each of the Emirates maintains a degree of independence with an individual ruler to oversee the local government. The government is authoritarian, and no elected bodies existed until 2006. Today, the federal assembly serves for consultation, and only half the members earned their position by election. No political parties are allowed. Foreign publications are censored, and most journalists within the Emirates practice self-censorship, as they must follow official reporting guidelines. Only 20% of the population are citizens, while the majority are immigrants – often illegal – coming to find work in the oil industry.
Islam is the state religion, with a Sunni majority and a Shi’a minority. Of the 43 people groups in the United Arab Emirates, 25 remain unreached by the Gospel, and many of them are indigenous and illiterate. The number of people coming to Christ from other ethnic backgrounds, such as South and East Asians, is rising. However, sharing the Gospel with Emiratis is illegal, and those who do can be arrested, imprisoned, and deported. Medical ministries have been serving in this nation for decades and have consistently provided healing for both physical and spiritual needs. An estimated 8% of the population are followers of Jesus.
Capital City: Abu Dhabi
Government: Federation of monarchies
Major People Groups: 11% Gulf Arab (Emirian); 9% Gulf Bedouin; 7% Southern Baluch; 7% Malayali; 6% Egyptian Arab
Religion: Muslim 79%, Christian 11%, Hindu 6%, Buddhist 2%, Agnostic 1%, Sikh 1%
Language: Arabic, Pushto, Malayalam, Persian
GDP Per Capita: $67,100
Literacy Rate: 97.6%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 83.2%
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