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Religions of United Arab Emirates



Islam is the largest and the official state religion of the UAE, though the government follows a policy of tolerance toward other religions and rarely interferes in the activities of non-Muslims.

However, it is illegal in the UAE to spread the ideas of any religion apart from Islam through any form of media as it is considered a form of proselytizing. There are approximately 31 churches throughout the country, one Hindu temple in the region of Bur Dubai., and one Sikh temple in Jebel Ali.

Based on the Ministry of Economy census in 2005, 76% of the total population was Muslim, 9% Christian, and 15% other (mainly Hindu). Census figures do not take into account the many "temporary" visitors and workers while also counting Baha'is and Druze as Muslim. Non-Islamic religions are mainly followed by foreigners or expatriates. As the majority of the population are non-citizens, of the citizens 85% are Sunni Muslim while 15% are Shi'a Muslims. Omani immigrants are mostly Ibadi, while Sufi influences exist too.

In 2011 the first Orthodox church in the UAE, St. Philip the Apostle, was built. The church is located in Sharjah. Yuri Sidorenko is the facility's churchwarden