Bahrain is a relatively small island country in the Middle East. Bahrain occupies a strategic place in the inlet of the Persian Gulf and has been a centre for trade and transportation.
Population: 1.2 million
Ethnic Groups: Bahraini (46%), Asian (45.5%), other Arab (4.7%), African (1.6%), European (1%), Other (1.2%)
Languages: Arabic (Official), English, Farsi, Urdu
Religions: Muslim (70.3%), Christian (14.5%), Hindu (9.8%), Buddhist (2.5%), Jewish (0.6%), Folk religion (<0.1%), Unaffiliated (1.9%), Other (0.2%)
CIA: The World Factbook - Last Updated June 19, 2017
In Canada: 1,655
In the GTA: 595
In Toronto: 220
The political landscape of Bahrain is being shaped by tensions between the Sunni ruling elites and the Shi'a (which constitutes two-thirds of the indigenous population.) Bahrain has a higher standard of living than most countries near the Persian Gulf, largely as a result of its oil wealth. However, rapid population growth has put a significant amount of strain on water and housing resources. Islam is the official religion. Bahrain's judicial system is based on Islamic law, so women's rights are far behind what they are in North America. Nevertheless, women fare better in Bahrain than in many other Islamic countries; Bahraini women are allowed to vote and run for office. Trying to convert Muslims to another religion is illegal, but expatriate Christians (and expatriates of other religions) are free to worship in churches.