• Country Information

    9,973,449 (2023 est.)

    Ethnicity (%)
    Emirati (11.6), South Asian (59.4), other (12.8)

    Religion (%)
    Muslim (74.5), Christian (12.9), Hindu (6.2), Buddhist (3.2), Agnostic (1.3), other (1.9)

    President Muhammad bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (2022)

    Government type
    Federation of monarchies

    Legal system
    Mixed legal system of Islamic law and civil law

    Source: CIA World Factbook

  • Pray for the United Arab Emirates

    Pray that new opportunities will yield a spiritual hunger for the truth and not just the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle.

    Pray that the Emirati body of believers will enjoy steady growth as they remain faithful to Christ.

United Arab Emirates News

  • Americans Arrested for Distributing Literature in Dubai (Correction)
    Vivian Gilmer

    A source close to the situation in Dubai has informed The Voice of the Martyrs that some of the details reported by us and numerous other news sources this week on the arrest of two Americans in Dubai were inaccurate. Apparently one of their pastors got some of his information mixed up and this was, unfortunately released to the public. The Voice of the Martyrs regrets any confusion that this may have caused. Please find below the corrected story.

  • Women Return Safely from Dubai
    Vivian Gilmer

    Last week, The Voice of the Martyrs reported on the detention and imminent deportation of two American women from Dubai, UAE after they were arrested for distributing Christian literature.  According to a report from the Baptist Press, their passports were returned on March 2 and they were released to return to the U.S. Both have returned safely.

    For more information on the plight of Christians in the United Arab Emirates, click here.

  • Americans Arrested for Distributing Literature in Dubai
    Vivian Gilmer

    Vivian Gilmer

    Two Southern Baptist ladies are being held under house arrest in Dubai after being arrested for illegally distributing Bibles and other Christian literature. 72-year-old Vivian Gilmer of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Marie Bush, 55, from Waxahachie, Texas were detained in Dubai on February 21.  The ladies were imprisoned, but later placed under house arrest. On February 28, a judge in a lower court refused to make a judgment on their case. They will now have to appear before a higher court. The ladies have asked to be deported to the United States.

    Gilmer and Bush were traveling with the Tommy Cox Evangelistic Association, an Arkansas-based mission organization when the incident occurred.  The Association's lawyers are working to negotiate their release to the United States, hopefully within the week. They are staying with a local pastor until a ruling is made.  The eleven other missionaries they were with have already been expelled from the country.

    Christians are permitted to practice their faith in their own homes and churches in Dubai but evangelism is illegal.  Islam is the official religion of the country.  Please pray that these two ladies will be allowed to return home shortly. Pray for their safety, as well as the safety of the Christians in the area, since there is some concern that there may be repercussions as a result of this arrest.

    For more information on religious liberty in UAE, click here.

  • Pastor Given Suspended Sentence

    A Filipino pastor has been found guilty of "Abusing Islam and Christian Missionary Activity" in Dubai, UAE. He received a suspended sentenced, deportation and confiscation of seized materials except the Bible. The only witness against him, an Egyptian man to whom Rev. Alconga had given Christian literature in Arabic in November 2002, testified that he had willingly accepted the materials knowing what they were.

    The court had asked a panel of Islamic experts to evaluate the materials. Their judgment was that, according to Islam, the materials were acceptable for private use but not for distributing to non-Christians.

    The case began in November 2002 when Alconga gave a package of Arabic Christian materials to an Egyptian man. The next day two men approached him asking for Christian materials in Arabic. Rev Alconga said that he had materials in other languages, Chinese, Russian, French and Indonesian, but not Arabic. He explained that he could get them materials if they wished to have some. At this point the men revealed that they were plain clothed policemen and arrested him. The Egyptian man had filed a complaint against him.

    While disagreeing with the conviction, the Christian community in Dubai is grateful that the case is over and that Rev. Alconga is free. He plans to leave Dubai this summer with his family to minister in a church in the Philippines.

    Original Persecution and Prayer Alert story published on December 18, 2002 and February 19, 2003
    (Report received April 29 from Middle East Concern)