Christianity in the United Arab Emirates

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Religion in the United Arab Emirates (2005 census)[1]

  Islam (76%)
  Other religions (Hinduism and other Asian religions) (15%)
  Christianity (9%)

Christians account for 9 percent of the total population of the United Arab Emirates, according to a ministry report, which collected census data.[2][3] The Christian population in the UAE is exclusively made up of foreign expatriate workers; there are no Christian Emirati citizens.[citation needed]

The government recognises various Christian denominations.[4] Christians are free to worship and wear religious clothing, if applicable. The country has Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches along with Protestant and Roman Catholic churches.[5] Among the Protestant denominations in the country are the Christian Brethren, the Coptic Evangelical Church and the Evangelical Alliance Church.[6] Other denominations are the Arab Evangelical Church of Dubai, Dubai City Church and the United Christian Church of Dubai.[7] The Anglican Communion is represented by the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The importation and sale of religious material is allowed; however, attempts to spread Christianity among Muslims are not permitted. Non-Muslim religious leaders reported that customs authorities rarely questioned the entry of religious materials such as Bibles and hymnals into the country.[4]

The government does not permit churches to display crosses on the outside of their premises or to erect bell towers.[4] Christian men are not allowed to marry Muslim women.[4][8] Conversion from Islam is not permitted.[4][8] In spite of this, a 2015 study estimated some 200 believers in Christ from a Muslim background, though not all of those are necessarily citizen of the UAE.[9] Public schools have no Christian religious education.

On December 25, 2007, the President's Religious Affairs Advisor Al Sayyed Ali al-Hashemi participated in Anglican Church celebrations of Christmas.[4][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "United Arab Emirates International Religious Freedom Report". Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  2. ^ "United Arab Emirates: International Religious Freedom Report 2007". U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  3. ^ "United Arab Emirates: International Religious Freedom Report 2006". U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "United Arab Emirates". Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ World Christian Encyclopedia, 2001 edition, Volume 1, page 771/772
  7. ^ "Who is DECC". Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ Johnstone, Patrick; Miller, Duane Alexander (2015). "Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census". IJRR. 11: 17. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]