They could soon become the majority of the population in the United Arab Emirates. And in Saudi Arabia, too, their numbers are increasing. Who they are, where they come from, and how they live. A report from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.Highlights:
- The Holy See established diplomatic relations and exchanged ambassadors with the United Arab Emirates on May 31, three months ago to the day.
- The United Arab Emirates has the greatest Christian presence of any Islamic country -- a new and growing presence -- virtually the reverse of what is happening in other regions in the Middle East like Iraq, Lebanon, and the Holy Land, where Christian communities of very ancient origin and nearly face extinction.
- Foreigners now make up more than 70 percent of the Emirates' more than 4 million inhabitants, and more than half of these foreign workers are Christians.
- Adding up the figures, Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population of the United Arab Emirates. Around a million of them are Catholic.
- Estimates suggest that there are also about a million Catholics from the Philippines in Saudi Arabia.