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On December 18, the Persecution & Prayer Alert reported on the arrest of Filipino pastor Rev. Fernando Alconga in the United Arab Emirates for illegally distributing Christian literature. The arrest came after undercover agents approached him asking for Christian materials in Arabic. Though he had nothing in Arabic, he showed them material he had in other languages. The previous day he had given literature to an Egyptian outside the same building.

The Voice of the Martyrs received an update today from Middle East Concern, reporting that Rev. Alconga appeared in court on February 16. The Egyptian to whom he had given literature testified that Rev. Alconga had not pressured him in any way. Another witness is scheduled to be heard on March 2. A letter of appeal has also been presented to one of the rulers of Dubai and a response is expected shortly.

Rev. Alconga's lawyer is pleased with outcome of the trial to this point. We ask that you continue to pray that he will be acquitted. Pray that the letter of appeal will be favourably received. Pray that the Egyptian and others who have heard the message of the Gospel will respond in faith.

Country Information

9,856,612 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Emirati (11.6), South Asian (59.4), other (12.8)

Religion (%)
Muslim (76), Christian (9), other (15)

President Khalifa bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan (2004)

Government type
Federation of monarchies

Legal system
Mixed legal system of Islamic law and civil law

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for the United Arab Emirates

Pray that new opportunities will yield a spiritual hunger for the truth and not just the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle.

Pray that the Emirati body of believers will enjoy steady growth as they remain faithful to Christ.


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United Arab Emirates News

  • Americans Arrested for Distributing Literature in Dubai (Correction)

    A source close to the situation in Dubai has informed The Voice of the Martyrs that some of the details reported by us and numerous other news sources this week on the arrest of two Americans in Dubai were inaccurate. Apparently one of their pastors got some of his information mixed up and this was,

  • Women Return Safely from Dubai
    Vivian Gilmer
    Last week, The Voice of the Martyrs reported on the detention and imminent deportation of two American women from Dubai, UAE after they were arrested for distributing Christian literature. According to a report from the Baptist Press, their passports were returned on March 2 and they w...
  • Americans Arrested for Distributing Literature in Dubai
    Vivian Gilmer

    Two Southern Baptist ladies are being held under house arrest in Dubai after being arrested for illegally distributing Bibles and other Christian literature. 72-year-old Vivian Gilmer of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Marie Bush, 55, from Waxahachie, Texas were detained in Dubai on F

  • Pastor Given Suspended Sentence

    A Filipino pastor has been found guilty of "Abusing Islam and Christian Missionary Activity" in Dubai, UAE. He received a suspended sentenced, deportation and confiscation of seized materials except the Bible. The only witness against him, an Egyptian man to whom Rev. Alconga had given Christian lite