Breakthrough is a monthly call to pray for the Arab world. In each edition we focus on a different country of the region, praying for breakthrough over a particular stronghold.
In this issue of Breakthrough we focus our prayers on a country that is very dry, both in a literal and a spiritual sense. There are not many encouraging signs of God working in people’s lives in the United Arab Emirates. Read on to find out why and to pray.
Praying in general for a country or people group can seem futile because often we don’t see the results of our prayers. If this sometimes discourages you, I would suggest you look at things from another point of view… One day you will get to see how your prayers made a difference. This is something that really encourages and excites me! At some point, I will stand before my King and know that my prayers changed something or someone. If you’re a follower of Christ, this applies to you, too, so pray today expectantly. Your prayers are heard and they will make a difference, but you might just have to wait to find out.
Country focus: United Arab Emirates
Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. (Ephesians 5:14 ESV)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven political territories (emirates) that lie on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman. It has a population of approximately 9 million, but fewer than 20 percent are actually Emirati. Key foreign nationalities are Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani. These and other southern Asians represent almost 60 percent of the population. Other nationalities include Arabs from other parts of the region, Filipinos and westerners.
The UAE was established as a sovereign nation in 1971, when British rule of the Trucial States came to an end. Each emirate is ruled by a monarch, known as an emir. The seven emirs form the ruling Federal Supreme Council and the emir of Abu Dhabi – the capital city – holds the position of president.
UAE is a wealthy nation with the seventh largest oil reserves in the world. Most of its economy is based on oil revenue. Second to this is tourism, thanks to Dubai, which was ranked the fifth most popular city in the world for international travellers in 2014.
Islam is the official and dominant religion, represented by 76 percent of the population. Non-Muslims are free to practice their religions but not to promote them in any way. Less than 10 percent are Christian and around 15 percent follow other religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism.
This month’s stronghold is indifference, and as it relates directly to the gospel. Emiratis are simply indifferent to the message of Christ. They need shaking out of their comfortable lifestyles – the distractions of wealth and materialism and the comfort of their religion.
We currently have no active contacts from UAE, and we had only 2,800 visitors between January and June this year. This places UAE second from bottom of all Arab countries in terms of visits.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would release the people of UAE from the stronghold of indifference.
- Ask that more Emiratis would become hungry for God and unsatisfied with what their Islamic beliefs teach them about him.
- Pray for each emirate by name. They are: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.
- Pray for the gospel to be accessible to all seeking the truth in UAE.
- Pray that our ministry team would see an increase in visitors and active contacts from this country. (We’ll let you know if we see this happen.)
Thank you for your prayers!
The Arab World Media Team