Arab, Sudanese in Oman

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Sudanese
Country: Oman
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 19,000
World Population: 18,598,800
Primary Language: Arabic, Sudanese
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Sudan
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

 Sudan obtained its independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956. Unfortunately, since that time Sudan has experienced a series of civil wars, revolutions, ethnic cleansings, genocides, droughts, famines and wars with surrounding African countries. As a result many Sudanese Arabs have left their homeland in search of a better life. Starting in the eighth century over a period of one thousand years, the inhabitants of northern and central Sudan gradually became Muslims. This Arabization of the population took place by military conquest and trade. The various ethno-linguistic groups of Sudan adopted Arabic as their first language and converted to Islam. These peoples make up the Sudanese Arabs of today. To escape the violence and economic disruptions in their land, some Sudanese Arabs moved to Oman, a nation located on the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Unlike many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Oman has had a stable government since 1970 under the Sultanate of Oman, an absolute monarchy.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Sudanese Arabs have done well in Oman. Some work in the oil and gas industry which provide Oman with over two thirds of the nation's revenues. Other Sudanese own restaurants, small businesses shops and fish in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. Others work in the traditional occupations of agriculture and animal husbandry. Due to its oil and stability, Oman's residents enjoy a higher standard of living than similar Arab nations. Tourism is another source of income. People from all over the world come to enjoy Oman's beaches and warm, clear waters. Dates are the main agricultural export. A man may have up to four wives in Islam. Most Sudanese men have one wife. Children, especially boys, are seen as blessing from Allah. As women become educated, they are taking jobs outside of the home. Traditionally, the Arab man worked and the women stayed home to take care of children and domestic responsibilities.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Sudanese Arabs are Muslim, mostly Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. Muslims try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

Most Sudanese Arabs have never heard a clear presentation of the good news about Isa or Jesus. Evangelizing Muslims is illegal in Oman. Teams of believers can go to rural Sudanese Arabs and help them with modern medicine and new agricultural methods.

Prayer Points

Pray that God will give wise strategies for reaching the Sudanese Arabs in Oman. Pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen and encourage the tiny group of believers. Pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint Christian TV and radio broadcasts as they are aired among the Sudanese Arabs.
Ask the Lord to raise up a church planting movement among the Sudanese Arabs in Oman for the glory of his name.

Text Source:   Joshua Project