|State of Qatar|
Area 11,400 sq.km. Arabian peninsular state that is almost entirely desert.
Capital Doha 339,471. Urbanites 91%.
The expatriate community makes up the majority of the population and is very difficult to accurately enumerate. Many Qatari citizens are of foreign extraction.
Arab 50%. Qatari 120,000; Other Arab (Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, etc.) 180,000.
South Asian 23%. Indian (esp. from Kerala) 108,000; Pakistani 100,000, Sri Lankan 18,000.
East Asian 7%. Filipino 36,000.
Other 4%. Caucasian 18,000.
Literacy 79%. Official Language Arabic. All languages 3. Languages with Scripture 2Bi.
Petroleum products are 81% of exports. Qatar has some of the world's largest gas reserves. Oil wealth is used to diversify the economy. Qataris live in great wealth, but the Asians constitute an economic lower class. HDI 0.814; 41st/174. Income/person $16,160 (51% of USA).
Part of Turkish-Ottoman Empire until 1918. Under British protection until independence in 1971. The current Emir ousted his father in a bloodless coup in 1995. His foreign and domestic policies reflect a remarkably open and progressive attitude.
The strict Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam is the state religion. Proselytism of Muslims is forbidden, but expatriate Christians are allowed to practice their faith. Persecution index 23rd in the world.
2 Expatriates are drawn from many nations by the high earnings in Qatar but Christians are restricted in their witness because of the tight control of the authorities. Believers have long met together informally, but in 2000 the Emir granted land for a Christian compound to be built for the purpose of holding services. Pray that this development may foster unity and cooperation between the diverse groups of believers.
3 Christian impact on society. Pray that the small groups of believers among Indians, Pakistanis, Egyptians, Filipinos and Westerners may bear fruitful witness to their own communities. Pray also that there may be opportunities to share with non-Christians of all peoples in the country.
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