Most residents of Oman are Muslims. A large majority of these confess to the ibadism that originated in the 6th century and which does not belong to either of the two dominant orientations of Sunni and Shia.
Especially for Ibadic Islam is its democratic foundations – it advocates, for example, that the Imam (the spiritual leader) should be elected by the congregation – and it is characterized by tolerance and peace. Oman is the only country in the world that has Ibadite Islam as a state religion, and its orientation is the dominant one. But it is state religion at the same time takes the expression that the Ministry of Religion sends out to the parishes with sermon texts approved by the state power and preachers are expected to stay within that framework.
The country’s other Muslims are mainly Sunnis. A smaller number are Shiites and live in the Musqat area and on the north coast.
A large part of Oman’s migrant workers are Hindus from South Asia. There is also a small Christian minority. Non-Muslims are allowed to practice their religions and build churches or temples, but do not mission or publish religious material. All religious communities must register with the authorities.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Oman, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Contested method is used on gas fields
The first development phase starts on the large gas field Khazzan. The work is going so well that the recovery begins early and under budget, says the companies involved Oman Oil and BP. In the next phase, the field will start delivering gas in 2021. According to Bloomberg News Agency, Khazzan is one of a few projects outside the US where hydraulic cracking (“fracking”) is used to increase production. The method has been contested for environmental reasons when extracting on shale gas land.
State visit from Iran
Iranian President Hassan Rohani visits Oman and discusses bilateral relations and the situation in the region with Sultan Qabus.
More prisoners from Guantánamo
Oman receives another ten prisoners from Guantánamo, just days before Barack Obama’s presidential term in the United States expires. Neither the US nor Oman are revealing their nationality this time, but it is said that they will only be temporarily staying in Oman. The incumbent US President Donald Trump says no prisoners will be released during his presidency.