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Capital: Abu Dhabi Population: 4,570,000 Religion: Islam
Muslim Background Believers: A few scattered believers
The UAE is a federation of seven states, called emirates, ruled by tribal chiefs called Sheiks or Emirs. There are archeological sites showing several population centers along the coast of the Arabian Gulf, including the UAE, dating to 2000 b.c. Islam came to this region within the first 50 years after Mohammed’s death. Once a center for piracy, it was known as the Pirate Coast before being subdued by British forces. It became a British protectorate in the 19th century and remained so until independence in 1971.
The largest and richest of the emirates is Abu Dhabi with significant oil and gas reserves. Dubai is the re-export center of the Gulf with the major port of Jebal Ali. The development of the oil industry in the UAE has brought fabulous wealth and rapid modernization to the major population centers, as well as attracting many expatriates, Arabs, Asians, Africans and some Europeans. UAE Nationals make up only 20% of the total population. The poorer emirates rely on the federal government (largely financed by Abu Dhabi) and the Dubai/Sharjah population hub for economic growth.
Religious tolerance is granted to Christians, and some churches and Christian schools are allowed to operate publicly in government-determined locations. Muslim evangelism is not allowed. Several imprisonments have occurred since 1992 for evangelism among Muslims.
Pray that the few national believers would continue to grow in their walk with Jesus and that the Holy Spirit would knit them together into a network of believers able to support, exhort and encourage each other.
Pray that the expatriate churches in each of the seven emirate would catch the vision to reach out to the unreached peoples in the UAE.
Pray for the powerful people in the UAE such as: Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan (President), Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President & Prime Minister) and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahayan (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi).
Several Christian medical agencies were invited in the 60’s to serve the people. Pray for these hospitals to continue to be a light and to find favor with the rulers.
Pray for justice, honesty, righteousness and truth in business dealings. Pray that new businesses being birthed by believers would be successful and blessed.
Pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers with good language, ministry and technical skills to live and minister in the UAE.
There are more intentional believers in strategic locations across the country than ever before. Pray for opportunities to present the Gospel in all spheres of life where these believers live, work and minister.
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