Religious Diversity

Arabs identify strongly with their religious groups, whether they are Muslim, Christian, Druze, or of any other religion, and whether they participate in religious observances or not. Religious affiliation is diverse and essential for every person in Arab society. There is no place for an atheist or an agnostic.

Arabs place great value on piety and respect anyone who sincerely practices his or her religion, no matter what that religion is.

Irrespective of the religious background of your client, it is important that you are aware of basic Arab religious attitudes which are common to the diverse people of Arabic speaking backgrounds:

A young Muslim male supplicating at Masjid al-Haram after Fajr prayer, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
A young Muslim male supplicating at Masjid al-Haram after Fajr prayer, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Source: Mohammed Tawsif Salam (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Everyone believes in God, acknowledges His power, and has a religious affiliation
  • Humans cannot control all events; some things depend on God’s will, that is, fate
  • Piety is one of the most admirable characteristics in a person
  • There should be no separation between church and state; religion should be taught in schools and promoted by governments (this is the Islamic view, not necessarily shared by Arab Christians)
  • Established religious beliefs and practices are sacrosanct

Given the importance of religion in both the identity and day to day practices of your clients, we encourage you to explore your client’s religious background in the Religion section of this website and to use our Directory to locate places of worship and local religious leaders.