Christians in the Arabian Gulf (also known as the Persian Gulf) were only a minor presence there until oil was discovered in the region. Then many Arabian and non-Arab Christians started moving in to work in the oil industry, and now there is a large Christian community.

Some Reformed missionaries had come to the region by the early 1800s and had established medical clinics and schools. These were mainly missionaries from the Reformed Church of America. They established hospitals in Kuwait and Bahrain and Oman and have continued their ministry in medicine and education until recent years, when an effort has been made to give responsibility for their institutions to local Arab Christians.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been supportive of but not directly involved in this work.

Although there has been no direct Presbyterian involvement in countries of the Gulf, the PC(USA) has participated with and through other churches in support of the presence and witness of a diverse Christian community (some national, but largely expatriate) in those countries. Significant Presbyterian support has been given to the work of the Bible Societies there, which is received with broad acceptance and appreciation.

Bible Society in the Gulf

Brittney Burrus, Mission Specialist for the Middle East and Europe, Presbyterian World Mission, brittney.burrus@pcusa.org