16 views
FrontpageHeadlinesNewsWorld

It’s against national law to build a Church in Saudi Arabia – But this could change

Traffic Exchange

84 total views, 3 views today

U.S. President Donald Trump is welcomed by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during their arrival at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 20, 2017. Photograph by Bandar Algaloud—Saudi Royal Council/Handout/ Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

For years now, Christians in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to practice Christianity openly, distribute bibles or build formal Churches, however, the Muslim dominated country has made unprecedented strides toward religious tolerance, UG Christian News has learnt.

Unofficially, there are some Christian gatherings in Saudi Arabia, and this is most especially in places under diplomatic protection. The Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh serves as the home base for foreign embassies and diplomatic groups. The area is secured and serves as a sort of city within a city in the Saudi Arabian capital.

After a visit to Riyadh last week, US officials told Christian Today the country has reformed its religious police—once tasked with enforcing shari’ah law on the streets and in homes—and has instituted new government programs to quash extremism.

“I was surprised by the pace of change in the country. It reminded me of the verse at the end of Book of Job which says, ‘My ears had heard … but now my eyes have seen,’” said US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commissioner Johnnie Moore, who has also served as an unofficial liaison between evangelical leaders and the Trump White House.

“It was the first time I have ever thought to myself, Wow, we could actually see religious freedom in Saudi. This is possible.”

Moore, according to Christian Today represents the highest-profile evangelical leader to meet with the Saudi government since 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans last October to return the restrictive Muslim country to “what we were before: a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world.” The USCIRF official formerly worked with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s campaign to aid persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

Fewer than 5 percent of the 32 million people living in Saudi Arabia are Christians, according to Pew Research, and the kingdom ranks No. 12 among countries where it is hardest to follow Jesus, according to Open Doors. Likewise the State Department, at USCIRF’s recommendation, has designated Saudi Arabia a “country of particular concern” since 2004 due to its egregious religious freedom violations.

The government still does not sanction churches or any form public worship by non-Muslims, but progress is being made toward allowing private worship and protecting the rights of minority faiths.

As the conservative Muslim nation instituted new social reforms—including lifting its infamous ban on women driving—bin Salman has recently hosted a string of Christian leaders.

“It should not be lost on us that the Crown Prince has—in the last six months alone—met with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Maronite Patriarch, and met with the Coptic Pope in Cairo and that meeting took place in front of wall-sized piece of art honoring Jesus,” Moore told CT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <a style="display:none" rel="follow" href="http://megatheme.ir/" title="قالب وردپرس">قالب وردپرس</a>

About Author

Your Gospel Site that tells you the Gospel Happenings you need from Gh, Naija, South Africa, USA and UK. Glorynews seeks to inform the Masses of Gospel Gatherings, Happenings, and Events, with Videos, Photos and Posters with write ups from before, during and after. Whatsapp: +23376610660

Comment here

*

%d bloggers like this: