Oil wealth transformed much of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from a poor, rural region to a haven and playground for the world’s ultra-rich. Now it branches out to business and finance, as well as tourism. While those at the top live with incredible wealth, millions of migrant labourers often work in terrible conditions for low pay. Injustice, human rights violations, and human trafficking are significant challenges. Pray for God's compassion for the poor and downtrodden to be powerfully conveyed to all migrant labourers who endure oppressive conditions in the UAE.
Increased numbers of people coming to Christ from other backgrounds. This is shifting from a trickle to a flow as more and more Arabs, South Asians, East Asians and others meet Jesus in a personal way. Some ministers are overwhelmed by responses to the gospel - praise God for such a challenge!
Expatriate Christians have opportunities for discreet sharing as the nation becomes more open and international. However, arrests, imprisonment and deportation still occur for those who evangelize or distribute Christian literature unwisely. Pray that believers would demonstrate Christ in their words and deeds with discernment and confidence. Pray for the English, Arabic, Urdu, Filipino and Indian language worship groups and congregations in their worship and witness.
Medical ministry through a Christian hospital and clinics. These have operated since the "old days" in the 1960s, especially in poorer areas, and have sown many spiritual seeds as well as engendered goodwill from the government with faithful service. Pray for continued useful ministry, for provision of finances and qualified staff, and for visible fruit.
- The indigenous Arab population. Both urban educated and rural illiterate (including the semi-nomadic Bedouin) have limited meaningful access to the gospel. The Arab believing population is increasing, however, though not without significant risk to their livelihood and safety. Discipleship for these believers and opportunities for fellowship are great needs. Arabic language BCCs and teaching via broadcast media are valuable resources.
- Expatriate communities. Iranian (Persian, Baluch), Pakistani/Afghan (Punjabi, Pushtun and Baluch), Bengali, Somali and Sudanese communities all have few if any believers. Pray for them to somehow receive the good news.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.