BROKEN: Signal Communication App Goes Down in Middle Eastern Country

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the waters, another phone messaging app bites the dust – at least for the time being.

After the policy change of Whatsapp last month, BTJ team members switched all communications over to Telegram, Signal, and Threema to see which one worked the best. Many team members liked Signal best. The first reason was that many felt Signal was safer than Telegram. The second reason was that, unlike Threema, Signal is free.

Unfortunately, while in the UAE yesterday, BTJ team members using Signal found that the system was not working. This comes less than two weeks after it was blocked in China. We thought that it would only be down for a short time and be back up within a few hours, but after more than 12 hours of being down, it is starting to look as though this might be a bigger problem.

We had already noticed problems earlier this month when we were not able to make voice calls using the application. Today however, our entire team with communication devices from three different continents were not able to use the Signal app in the UAE to send even a single message. Starting from early morning on March 31, messages could not be sent or received.

So, if you are a missionary or Christian ministry worker planning to travel to certain parts of Asia or the Middle East in the near future, it is probably safest to not rely on Signal as your main form of communication.

At the writing of this article, Signal is still not working in UAE, but Threema and Telegram are up and operating.

Update:  After 24 hours of being down, Signal is working again in UAE.


Dr. Eugene Bach is a known trouble-maker with an active imagination and sinful past. He has a PhD, but is not a real doctor, so please do not call for him during a medical emergency on an airplane when someone is having a heart attack. Eugene started working for Back to Jerusalem in the year 2000 after a backroom deal involving Chinese spies, the NRA, Swiss bankers, and a small group of Apostolic Christians that only baptize in Jesus’ name. He spends most of his time in closed countries attempting to topple governments by proclaiming the name of Jesus and not taking showers. From time-to-time he pretends to be a writer. He is not good at it, but everyone around him tries to humor him.

One Comment

  1. OneofTen

    Same here. I deleted WhatsApp for the sake of privacy and they wanted me to update, so I had let my contacts know ahead of time that I would be deleting once the forced update came.
    I was trying to contact one of my contacts from Easfern Africa and apparently when he changed his SIM card, which is more common in other countries thay have several operating systems companies. It told me his “safety number” had changed and would not allow me to SMS, call or video the contact. Then it kept forwarding me to a screen with some 8-16 sets of 8-12 numbers with a QR code to scan (which is nothing I would ever do. Even if it were possible they wanted my contact to take “their phone” amd scan the QR code on my phone LoL. Not possible. Anyway, thank you for the article. I did get really frustrated with Signal which I also downloaded within the past 2 months. Thankfully I’m still able to use it to contact people in North and South America without issue.


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