United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
World Convention is currently building a global reference for the countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 176. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 197 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.
Rather than waiting for comprehensive, complete information we are putting up the details we have available. If you can correct or add to this information, please contact the World Convention Office with details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven small principalities situated along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Covering an area of 76,000 sq km (29,000 sq miles) UAE has a population of about 2.6 million. During the third century B.C. Umm an-Nar’s culture prevailed in the region. Alexander the Great’s conquests for Greece left a Hellenistic influence. The Portuguese came to the Gulf before 1500 and began controlling trade in the Far East. For centuries the people of the these Emirates lived as seagoing traders on the shores of the Persian Gulf but piracy became a problem in the early nineteenth century opening the door for the British to establish a protectorate in the area that soon came to be known as the Trucial States. In 1971 they became independent and known as the United Arab Emirates governed by a single advisory board known as the Federal National Council.
Only about 1% of land in the UAE is arable so most food stuffs and raw material must be imported. Almost 90% of export revenue comes from the production of gas and oil. The port in Dubai is one of the world’s largest maritime facilities and has attracted companies from nearly sixty countries. UAE is a force of moderation in the Arab world and maintains strong ties with the USA and the UK.
Arabic is the official language of UAE though English is understood by many.
The Muslim faith accounts for 96% of the population with the remaining 4% being Christian, Hindu and other faith traditions.
Congregations from the a cappella Churches of Christ are known to meet from time to time in the United Arab Emirates consisting of expatriates who have gone there to work. The evangelism of Muslims is forbidden. In Dubai, as of 2014, Philip Ganta from southern India oversees the Dubai School of Preaching and works with a congregation with both Telegu and English worship services.
revised by Gary Holloway, December 2014
For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.
For online directories of a cappella Churches of Christ see: