Contrary to popular opinion in the media, Christianity is far from dead in the Middle East, and one place where this is very evident is Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Pew Research Centre has the number of Christians in the Arabian Peninsula at around 2.3 million, whilst the Gulf Christian Fellowship, an umbrella group, estimates 3.5 million.
Foreigners now make up more than 70 percent of the population of the UAE, most of them coming from other Arab countries, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the Philippines. More than half of these foreign workers are Christians, which means that Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population.
One thing that shows that ministry is growing is the creation of a new church, one such church being St. Paul’s Catholic Church, located in Mussafah, a satellite town of Abu Dhabi. This church was established to cater for the 60,000 to 70,000 Christians working and living in the surrounding area, many of whom are migrant workers. Some local Arabs have also joined the church.
Medical Missions is another of the Christian growth areas, with teams working alongside community leaders and members, community hospitals, clinics, and health posts to provide a wide range of medical care to meet local needs. Clinic days are long and arduous, but immeasurably productive and rewarding, ministering to whole families and communities.
With the Media focus at the moment on the mass exodus of Christians from Iraq and Syria, we could be forgiven for thinking that there is little hope. However, some of the oldest standing buildings in the Middle East are Christian churches, a testimony to the resilience and continuity of Christianity despite times of persecution.
God is still at work in this region, and His Church is alive and growing.
- Give thanks for the growing church in the United Arab Emirates, and for the millions of Christians working and living there.
- Pray for these Christians, for opportunities to share their faith and to be a witness to the Arab communities around them.
- Pray for the continues growth of the Church across the Middle East, and for protection for Christians, especially in Iraq and Syria.
- Pray for the work of medical teams in the Middle East, to minister with the compassion of Christ and have many opportunities to share His love, hope and healing.
Revelation 5 vs 9: “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
Source: http://atlantadailyworld.com/, http://www.persecution.org/