Area: 309.500 sq. km.
Neighbouring countries: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the West
Capital City: Muscat
Other Cities: Matrah
Ethnic groups: Arabs 73%, Indians 13%, Pakistanis 7.4%, Egyptians 1.6%, Others 5%
Languages: Arabic (official), English
Currency: Omani Riyal
Member of: CCG (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf), Arab League, OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference), UN and WTO (World Trade Organization)
(De Agostini, Jan. 2008)
A British Protectorate in 1891, Oman became independent in 1971 and is today an absolute Monarchy. According to the fundamental Charter, Islam is the State religion and the Sharia is the basis for legislation.
The population is about 3 million (UN Statistics 2008). There are under 5% Christians (mainly Catholics). (Various sources, including Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2008)
Relations with the Holy See
Oman does not have diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS OF CELRA – CONFERENCE OF LATIN BISHOPS OF THE ARAB REGION: Nevertheless, it is essential to give firm support and encouragement to those who choose to remain faithful to their homeland in order to prevent it from becoming an archaeological site deprived of ecclesial life