Freedom of religion in the United Arab Emirates
The Constitution of the United Arab Emirates provides for freedom of religion by established customs, and the government generally respects this right in practice; however, there are some restrictions (e.g. attempts to spread Christianity among Muslims are not permitted). The federal Constitution declares that Islam is the official religion of the country; the Government does not recognize or permit conversion from Islam to another religion.
This section needs to be updated.September 2015)(
The country has an area of 82,880 km² (30,000 sq. mi) and a resident population of 7.4 million (2010 est.). Only approximately 20% of residents are UAE citizens. According to the 2005 census, 100% of the citizens are Muslim; 85 percent are Sunni Muslim and 15 percent are Shi'a. It is one of the most liberal country found in Middle East. Foreigners are predominantly from South and Southeast Asia, although there are substantial numbers from the Middle East, Europe, Central Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, North America and South America. According to a ministry report, which collected census data, 76 percent of the total population is Muslim, 9 percent is Christian, and 15 percent is other. Unofficial figures estimate that at least 15 percent of the population is Hindu, 5 percent is Buddhist, and 5 percent belong to other religious groups, while the large majority of noncitizens coming in and out of the country are non Muslims, accumulating over 70% of them are largely non Muslim. Parsi, Baháʼí, and Sikh.
In recent years, a large number of Shia Muslim expatriates have been deported from the UAE, Lebanese Shia families in particular have been deported for their alleged sympathy for extremist group Hezbollah. According to some organizations, more than 4,000 Shia expats have been deported from the UAE in recent years.
Apostasy is no longer a crime in the United Arab Emirates. In 1978, UAE began the process of Islamising the nation's law, after its council of ministers voted to appoint a High Committee to identify all its laws that conflicted with Sharia. Among the many changes that followed, UAE incorporated hudud crimes of Sharia into its Penal Code - apostasy being one of them. Article 1 and Article 66 of UAE's Penal Code required hudud crimes to be punished with the death penalty, however no executions for apostasy have ever taken place. By virtue of Federal Decree Law No. (15) of 2020, Articles 1 and 66 of UAE's Penal Code no longer incorporate hudud crimes.
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- Articles of Law 3 of 1987, al Jarida al Rasmiyya, vol. 182, 8 December 1987
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- Federal Decree Law No. (15) of 2020 Concerning the Penal Code
-  US department of state - background note: United Arab Emirates
-  International Religious Freedom Report 2007 - UAE
- United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. United Arab Emirates: International Religious Freedom Report 2007. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.