Churches are seeing growth in the United Arab Emirates, despite the looming threat to Christianity in the Middle East.
In a sharp contrast to the rapidly worsening situation in the Middle East, Christianity in the UAE is seeing palpable growth A Christian charity group, Aid to the Church in Need has reported that Christianity is facing existent threats as Christian could literally be wiped out from the Middle East in coming years.
Situation is quite the reverse in the UAE, where Christians and Muslims are living in harmony. An instrumental factor in the growth of churches in UAE is the peaceful coexistence of Christians and Muslims in the Emirates.
US State Department says that only 10 years ago, there were only 24 churches in the UAE, while in recent times there are already 40 churches. Father Ani Xavier from the newly inaugurated St. Paul’s Church in Musaffah said, “We have 16 services on the weekend and 14 services during the week. It is happiness for me to see such a church in the desert. God has blessed us in this part of the world to live in safety and do our missionary work.”
Majority of the Christians living in the UAE, are emigrant workers. According to a data report, Christians make up 9% of total 8 million population of the Emirates. Regardless of the petite percentage of Christians in the UAE, the rulers of the Emirates extend immense support towards the Christians.
Bishop Paul Hinder from the Roman Catholic Church’s Vicariate of Southern Arabia stated that usually UAE’s top rulers provide land for the church buildings and ignore the water and electric bills of the churches.
At the same time, when Christians are facing much nuisance in the Middle East and no real help is being extended to them, the UAE rulers are making sure that additional security measures are being employed to secure the churches from being attacked. Emirates apply special precautions as part of nation’s ambition to uphold the security of foreigners who live and work in the UAE.