Arab, Sudanese in United Arab Emirates

Arab, Sudanese
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Sudanese
Country: United Arab Emirates
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 75,000
World Population: 17,547,900
Primary Language: Arabic, Sudanese Spoken
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 1.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.10 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Sudan
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Sudan obtained its independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956. Unfortunately, since that time Sudan has experienced a series of civil wars, revolutions, ethnic cleansings, genocides, droughts, famines, and wars with surrounding African countries. As a result, many Sudanese Arabs have left their homeland in search of a better life. Some Sudanese left Sudan and went to work in the oil rich, small Persian Gulf nation of the United Arab Emirates. Starting in the eighth century over a period of one thousand years, the inhabitants of northern and central Sudan gradually became Muslims. This Arabization of the population took place by military conquest and trade. The various ethno-linguistic groups of Sudan adopted Arabic as their first language and converted to Islam. These peoples make up the Sudanese Arabs of today. The New Testament, JESUS Film, and radio programs are available in Sudanese Arabic. Educated Sudanese Arabs also speak English.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The lives of the Sudanese Arabs depend upon their level of education. The income of UAE citizens is one of the highest ones in the world. The majority of people living in the UAE are foreign workers. Sudanese Arabs who can speak English and can read and write Arabic enjoy relatively prosperous lifestyle. They work as middle managers in the oil, tourist, construction, chemical and manufacturing industries. They are not allowed to become UAE citizens even though they have lived in the UAE for a generation. A prosperous Sudanese man might be able to bring his family to UAE if he pays money to the right people. Uneducated Sudanese take any job they can find, jobs that citizens of the UAE feel are below them. Sudanese often send most of their paychecks back to Sudan to help support their families. A dozen men might live in the same, small apartment. Due to the constant disruptions in the Sudanese economy, many families can only live through the remittances from relatives who work abroad.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Sudanese Arabs are Muslims, mostly Sunnis. Sudanese Islam is often mixed with folk religion and a belief in natural spirits. Sunnis try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

Life is hard for most Sudanese men living in the UAE. Most are separated from their wives and children. They might be able to visit their families once or twice a year. These men may become more open to the gospel without the comfort of their families. Evangelizing Muslims is illegal in the UAE. Christians could provide medical teams and literacy training for the Sudanese working in the UAE.

Prayer Points

* Ask God to bring a just and lasting peace to Sudan.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit softens the heart of the Sudanese Arabs living in the UAE. * Pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint Christian TV and radio broadcasts as they are aired among the Sudanese Arabs.
* Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Sudanese Arabs in the UAE for the glory of His name.
 

Text Source:   Joshua Project