from Shane's Muslim Connect

summer short lists #3

Most of my interactions with Muslims have been with those who are poor, facing life with limited choices, resources, and status. Of course that doesn’t describe all Muslims. Some of the richest people in the world follow Islam and some majority-Muslim countries are quite pecuniarily proficient! 

This made me curious about who’d top the richest and poorest lists. 

Determining “richest” and “poorest” countries can be tricky. Experts disagree on how to quantify those designations, and I’m far from a demographic expert. Most will use gross domestic product per capita, with some adjustments to allow for relative purchasing power. 

That said, here are the lists as I see them:

Richest Muslim-majority countries
Qatar, Kuwait, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, Libya, Malaysia

Poorest Muslim-majority countries 
Somalia, Niger, Chad, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali, Yemen, Guinea, Tajikistan, Pakistan

As fun and gratifying as it may be to judge the rich countries (“It’s easy to be rich when everyone wants your oil. . .and you rule as, or like, a king!), that probably does no good. Further, since God loves them, their populations should not be overlooked in gospel outreach efforts. 

As for the poor, I’m sure I can’t imagine many of the challenges so many face. I want to avoid “white savior complexes” but at the same time move in the flow of God’s heart for people who are marginalized and suffering. Further, while it’s certainly easier to wonder why the rich Muslim countries don’t make life easier for the poor ones, I want us to ask God what he would have us do. And I want to pray for his kingdom to come, for the justice, prosperity, and shalom he desires for all. 

If you like your global Christian demographics served up factually with a side of solid research, you’d be crazy not to sign up for Justin Long’s Weekly Roundup. It will bless your soul while stretching your brain.
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