Capital: Muscat Population: 2,694,094 Religion: Islam, majority are from the Ibadhi sect of Islam.
Muslim Background Believers: A few scattered believers
1,951,000 Omanis make up 72% of the country’s population. 259,000 Omani households make up 64.6% of the households in the country, according to the 2010 census.
Omanis have historically made their living as fishermen, traders, date farmers, and traditional Bedouin nomad camel herders. In ancient times there was a flourishing trade in frankincense from trees which grow in the south. Oman embraced Islam in the eighth century. Oman has been ruled by the Al Bu Saidi dynasty since 1744. It is one of the few true monarchies.
In 1970 Sultan Qaboos bin Said seized power from his father and started a revolution of modern development, reform and stability. The standard of living has improved dramatically, as have the expectations and aspirations of the people. Oman has not been effected by the recent global recession. Development and building has continued to flourish. Omanis respect the Sultan. Recent demonstrations have communicated loyalty to him while making requests for better wages, more jobs and governmental recommendations. The Sultan graciously responded to the requests of the 2011 protests by making changes in the government’s cabinet and by increasing wages and creating more jobs for Omanis.
Young Omanis are connected through mobile phones, and internet messaging. Education is provided by the government for post-secondary education through government and private institutions. Omanization is the process of replacing expat workers with qualified Omanis to provide jobs for nationals. This process is gaining success as more Omanis are educated. Opportunities for women have improved greatly over the last decade. Currently there are three female cabinet members; Minister of Higher Education, Minister of Social Development, and Minister of Tourism. Omanis are proud of the improved position of women in the Sultanate. The first Omani Women’s Day was celebrated in 2010.
To retain the traditional life-style, many young Omanis commute to the cities for work, and raise their families in the villages. The Omani dishdasha worn by men and the abaya worn by women are classic examples of their respect for national identity. Omanis showcase their traditions and culture in the festivals each year in the Muscat and Salalah areas. Their national pride lead to a coveted sports victory in 2009 when Oman hosted and won the Gulf Cup of Nations. In 2010 Oman hosted the Asian Beach Games.
Pride, diversity, and development describe the country. The people love the modernization that is rapidly defining their lives, at the same time, clinging to traditional values and customs.
Young Omanis have a desire for freedom. Pray that this search for freedom will bring them to the Cross of Christ as they look for answers in the world around them.
The fear of evil spirits is a reality to most rural Omanis. They often carry out practices to appease the spirits. Pray that God would release them from fear and reveal Himself to them in dreams or visions.
The social media has come quickly to Oman. Pray that this media will be a means for Omanis to be exposed to the Truth of Christ.
Pray for the Christians working in Oman will be open in their faith and love for Christ and will share it daily with Omanis.
Many Omanis study abroad. Pray that Christians in these countries will reach out to them with hospitality and love.
Important decisions are made in families, clans and tribes. Pray that whole families would believe the Gospel.
Many areas of Oman are almost completely untouched with the Gospel message. Pray that God would call workers for these unreached areas.
Sign up to Pray for the Arabian Peninsula