Introduction / History Most Muslim Rohingyas originate in either Rakhine or Arakan State in western Myanmar. They started to arrive there in the 1430s. Arakan was an independent coastal kingdom that was conquered by the Burmese Empire (Myanmar) in 1784. Burma’s glory days didn’t last much longer; they were in turn conquered by the British Empire in 1824. During the colonial era, Bengali Muslims came to this part of the world that was bordered by the Buddhist Burmese. When the British Empire left the area, they promised the Rohingyas an autonomous state in exchange for their help in WWII, but they reneged on that promise. Meanwhile, the Buddhist Burmese resented having an increasing number of Muslims, so when they gained their independence in 1948, they tried to cast out the Rohingyas. In 1982, Myanmar barred the Rohingyas citizenship, leaving them as a stateless people. They remain a people without a state, and they are not welcome in neighboring Bangladesh. Most remain in a no-win situation, but a small number have migrated to places like the UAE.
What are their lives like? Rohingyas who live in the UAE are the fortunate ones. The Rohingyas are fortunate that the UAE has sponsored humanitarian efforts in the Rohingya refugee camps. Others have managed to make their way to the UAE where they get a new start.
What are their beliefs? Rohingyas are staunch followers of Islam. There are mosques and madrasas (religious schools) in every quarter and village. The men pray in congregation whereas the female pray at home.
What are their needs? The Rohingyas in the UAE need job training so they can flourish in their new environment.
Prayer Points Pray for spiritual discernment and hunger among the Rohingyas in the UAE. Pray for workers to go to them. Pray for a movement to Christ among the Rohingyas this decade. * Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.