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Arab, Bahraini in Bahrain

Arab, Bahraini

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Arab, Bahraini in Bahrain map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
880,000 Arabic, Baharna Spoken Islam 3.40 % 0.90 % No No   

Arab, Bahraini in Bahrain

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Introduction / History
On a cluster of islands off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia live the Bahraini Arabs, the largest people group in Bahrain. They call it Dawlat al Bahran (State of Bahrain). It includes over 30 desert islands in the heart of the Persian Gulf. Bahraini Arabs are related to the two million Arabs spread over the Middle East and North Africa, bound loosely together by a religious and cultural heritage. Arabs trace their ancestry back to Ishmael, the son of Abraham, and his wife's maid, Hagar. For centuries the Arabs lived as Bedouin tribesmen, like Abraham.

During the seventh century, the prophet Mohammed drew many of the Arab tribes together by giving them a common religion, Islam. The great majority of Bahrain's people are Arabs. They speak the traditional language of Arabic, although English is becoming more common. People on the main island, also called Bahrain, are more cosmopolitan than other Arabs.

What are their lives like?
Most Bahrainis live in apartments or houses in towns on the northern part of the largest island, Bahrain. Since wood is scarce, they build homes of cement and lime brick. These houses are usually tall with wind towers to catch the breeze. Villagers, on the other hand, usually live in thatched huts.

Even though the islands receive only 7.5 cm (3 inches) of rainfall a year, fresh underground springs along the northern coast of Bahrain provide ample drinking water. Farmers irrigate vegetables and melons from these springs. Families usually have one main meal daily, including many fresh vegetables, lamb, fish, and rice. Bahrainis enjoy a relatively high standard of living due to oil revenues. The government provides free education, medical care and a superior electrical system.

Most households have televisions, radios, and telephones. A causeway links several of the islands to Saudi Arabia. The Bahraini people are more cosmopolitan than other Arabs because Bahrain has been a trade center and port for centuries. Younger Bahrainis wear clothes reflecting Western influence. Bahrain's women have more opportunities and privileges than most Arabic women.

What are their beliefs?
The majority of Bahraini Arabs follow Islam, the religion of their heritage and their culture. The ruling family and many townspeople are Sunni Muslims, while the Northern villagers are Shiites. Because the British ruled Bahrain for over a hundred years prior to 1971, two Anglican churches remain in Bahrain. Mainland Arabs criticize the Bahrainis for not being strict enough about traditional religious values. The women still prefer head coverings and long sleeves, but fewer wear traditional veils. More women are employed, usually at respectable jobs in girl's schools, maternity clinics, and banks.

What are their needs?
More than most Arabs nations, Bahrain has grown increasingly open to Western influence. More than ever before the Bahraini Arabs are listening to new ideas and considering new perspectives on life. Nevertheless, their culture and Islamic religion are so closely bound together, that it is difficult for them to accept any other world view. They consider the moral values of Western Christians to be pagan.

Bahrain has capitalized on the petroleum industry since 1932. Fishing has declined due to pollution in the gulf. Bahrain is diversifying, building industry and becoming a banking center for the Middle East. Opportunities for foreign business mean opportunities for Christian business people to share the Gospel.

Television and radio programs are broadcast mostly in Arabic, although some English programs come out of Saudi Arabia. English Bibles, Christian literature, and programs can be used as long as they show sensitivity to the Arab culture. Promiscuity of the western culture has caused the Bahraini to be leery of Western Christians. Opportunities to reach them exist by taking a sensitive approach, stepping carefully through the open doors of a fast-growing business society.

Prayer Points
* Pray for open hearts among Arabs, including the Bahrainis.
* Pray that Bahrain will be used as a gateway for the Gospel into all of Arabia.
* Pray for ministries to begin to focus on the Bahrainis and that a burden will be placed on hearts specifically for them. They cannot hear if the Word is not going forth.
* Pray that God will raise spiritual leaders among Arabian Christians.
* Pray that Bahraini businessmen will come to know Jesus and be used of God in this rapidly growing banking economy.
* Pray for these Arabs and that intimidation will not keep them from receiving Jesus.
* Pray for strong Christian fellowships to be birthed in the days ahead.
* Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

View Arab, Bahraini in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-11-30
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-12-02
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-12-21
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-12-26
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Country: Bahrain
Continent: Asia
Region: Africa, North and Middle East
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Widespread.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Arab, Bahraini
People Name General: Arab, Bahraini
Alternate People Names:
Arabic, Baharna SpokenBahraini Arab
ROP3 Code: 100772
Joshua Project People ID: 10572
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 880,000
Population all Countries: 896,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
People Cluster: Arab, Arabian
People Name General: Arab, Bahraini
Ethnic Code: CMT30
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Arabic, Baharna Spoken (880,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): abv    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity3.40 %(Evangelical: 0.90 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam96.60 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican20.00 %
Independent35.00 %
Protestant10.00 %
Orthodox5.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic30.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsArabic Bibles Online
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Arab, Bahraini in Bahrain

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Arab, Arabian     Africa, North and Middle East    
      Arab, Bahraini Bahrain    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Arab, Bahraini in Bahrain          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Arabic, Baharna Spoken  
    All Religions                              

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