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40_United Arab Emirates

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

#40
Region Middle East
Leader President Khalifa bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan
Population 9 398 000
Christian 13%
Main Religion Islam
Government Federation
Rank 40
Score 58
Previous Rank 44
Previous Score 55

“May every knee bow at the name of Jesus, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

A stable and wealthy country with freedoms rare in its region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) appears more open than it is. The official constitution guarantees freedom of religion, but has a contradiction. It states religious practices cannot violate established customs, public policy or morals. This creates restrictions and persecution for Christians. Additionally, there is a law that citizens who convert from Islam can be killed, although this has not been enacted for many years.

Christians face high levels of pressure from the government and their neighbours. The community of Christians coming from overseas to work, experience limited persecution, while those who convert from Islam are heavily persecuted. Churches are limited in their activities and are subject to pressure at a government level. Less evangelistic churches are shown more leniency.

The UAE was the joining of seven kingdoms (known as emirates) after independence from the British. It has always been a small country and had issues with neighbouring Iran and Saudi Arabia. Citizens only make up around 15% of the population with most people coming from other countries as workers. As with all countries on the Arabian Peninsula, Islam is an important part of daily life. Groups of foreign workers make up the largest proportion of Christians in the country.

Open Doors raises prayer support for the believers and Church in UAE.

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