The United Methodist Church in Dubai

. 1 min read

By Thomas Kemper
Witness to faith in Jesus Christ takes many forms and can be found in unexpected places—such as the United Arab Emirates, where Oasis of Grace United Methodist Church is one of the newest congregations in our denominational connection.

The vital and vibrant church meets in a hotel in the officially Muslim country; it is an expression of the devotion of United Methodist migrant workers from the Philippines.

I was honored to worship there and take part in the installation of its first leadership team late during the Lenten season this year. I was in the UAE for the tenth anniversary of the First United Methodist Church in Dubai and to show that Global Ministries is walking with United Methodists and other Christians there. Oasis of Grace, launched last November, has a congregation of approximately 50 people.

First Church Dubai, Oasis of Grace, and a third congregation I had the chance to visit, Sharjah United Methodist Church, were started by Filipino United Methodists who come in large numbers to work in the prosperous, oil-rich kingdoms along the Persian Gulf. They bring the church with them and are allowed—in the UAE—to gather for worship, although Emirati Muslims are not allowed to come to the services or convert to Christianity. Another United Methodist community, which I was unable to visit, has been organized by migrant church members from Zimbabwe.