// World Watch List

United Arab Emirates

  • Leader: Sheikh Khalifa
  • Population: 9.4 million (1.2 million Christians)
  • Main Religion: Islam
  • Government: Federation
  • World Watch List Rank: 44
  • Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism/ Dictatorial paranoia

Christians here are either expatriates, migrants, or believers from a Muslim background (BMBs).

The latter group suffer the most, facing persecution from family, community leaders and government officials. Despite the stability and wealth of the country, religious and political freedom is severely restricted. Islam dominates private, public and political life and all citizens are defined as Muslims. The law does not recognise conversion from Islam to Christianity, and the legal punishment is death. BMBs may be compelled to return to Islam, hide their faith, or leave the country.

Read more about persecution in United Arab Emirates

Please Pray 

  • For believers from Muslim backgrounds, especially women who convert from Islam and lose their rights to possessions and their children
  • For wisdom and tolerance for government leaders, that they would allow citizens to change their faith
  • Openly possessing Christian materials is very dangerous. Pray for courage and protection for those distributing and sharing God's Word.


How we help

Open Doors supports the church in United Arab Emirates by raising prayer and awareness.

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