Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Hard Times for Christians in Saudi Arabia

Written by Rev. H.A Bergsma
In Saudi Arabia, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz has formally endorsed the establishment of the National Human Rights Association (NHRA) to promote and monitor human rights in what is possibly the most repressive nation of the world. This announcement follows a conference on human rights in October 2003 that concluded, in part, that "tolerance of faith is required by Islam, which also prohibits coercing people to follow a certain religion." Saudi Arabia forbids any evangelism and anyone who converts a Muslim faces jail, expulsion or execution. Even foreigners are not allowed to gather for worship. Since 1992, more than 360 foreign Christians have been detained for gathering for private worship. In March 2003, Prince Sultan, told reporters that Christians are free to worship privately, but reiterated that no church buildings will be allowed. He said, "We are not against religions at all ... but there are no churches--not in the past, the present or future." (From Voice of the Martyrs)

Pray that the push for human rights in general and religious freedom in particular will continue in Saudi Arabia. Pray that Christians in that country will soon be free to worship and practice their faith.

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