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Tucked up under the Persian Gulf lies the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It’s an Islamic country with a diverse population brought by the oil-rich economy. That means people of 60 different nationalities walk into any given Christian church every week. Pastors see a crying need in this part of the world for strong churches centered on the Bible, but there are precious few churches devoted to expository ministry, serious about Reformed theology, and preaching the gospel.

International churches have a tendency to avoid the sharp edges of theology in order to alleviate the difficulties inherent in culturally divided populations. Pastors are trying to accommodate people from all different places. But you can’t preach the whole counsel of God without getting to the edges. And you can’t expect the blessings that come from preaching the truth of Scriptures if you’re not preaching the truth.

In God’s kindness, some churches in Dubai are obeying. One in particular, United Christian Church of Dubai (UCCD), has seen tremendous fruit. As pastors began expositing through books of the Bible, some members were put off and left. But others joined, and over the past 15 years, UCCD has planted three churches, each of which has begun to multiply. There are now seven to eight like-minded churches in the area, with an average attendance of more than 500 souls.

Ways to pray:

  1. Praise for the openness that foreign Christians have experienced in the religiously closed country
  2. For churches to have prosperous growth along with robust theology, and to become self-supporting
  3. For UAE Christians to reach the spiritually hungry countries just across their borders

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14–16


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