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Report: The Christians Are Coming Back to Arabia – Fourteen Centuries after Mohammed

September 3, 2007

From Chiesa:

Three months ago to the day, on May 31, the Holy See established diplomatic relations and exchanged ambassadors with the United Arab Emirates.

Few noted the fact that the United Arab Emirates has the greatest Christian presence of any Islamic country.

And it is a new and growing presence. Exactly the opposite of what is happening in other regions in the Middle East like Iraq, Lebanon, the Holy Land, where Christian communities of very ancient origin actually face extinction.

The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain – situated along the middle of the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The capital is Abu Dhabi. Almost all of the citizens belong to the official religion, Islam.

But there are many more immigrants than citizens. Foreigners now make up more than 70 percent of the more than 4 million inhabitants, coming from other Arab countries, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines.

More than half of these foreign workers are Christians. Adding up the figures, Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population of the United Arab Emirates. Around a million of them are Catholic. And it’s not only in the UAE – in Saudi Arabia, too, it is estimated that there are already about a million Catholics from the Philippines.

Full report here.

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