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. Though most live in Bahrain, a small number live in the nearby Arab nation of Oman.
The Bahrainis speak their form of Arabic, and they have to make adjustments to learning Omani Arabic when they live in that country.
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 Shia. 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 than in previous generations.
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.
* Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Bahraini in Oman.
Pray for a spiritual hunger that will move the Bahraini Arabs in Oman from darkness to the light of Christ. Pray for ample opportunities for these Arabs to seek and find the only Savior. Pray for a movement to Christ among Bahraini Arabs in the 2020s.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Arab, Bahraini|
|People Name in Country||Arab, Bahraini|
|Natural Name||Bahraini Arabs|
|Population this Country||19,000|
|Population all Countries||925,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||1 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Arabic, Baharna Spoken; Bahraini Arab|
|Region||Africa, North and Middle East|
|Persecution Rank||44 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Location in Country||Az Zahirah and Al Batinah governorates. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
|Primary Language||Arabic, Baharna Spoken (19,000 speakers)|
|Language Code||abv Ethnologue Listing|
|Language Written||Yes ScriptSource Listing|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 1.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|