Sunday, February 23, 2014

World Watch List | Saudi Arabia

Each year Open Doors publishes the World Watch List. The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. First of all, the list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons.

Each Sunday I will post information on one of the countries listed to provide information about the situation that Christians in this country face as well as to encourage us to join together and pray for those facing persecution around the world.

Will you join me in praying for persecuted Christians in Saudi Arabia? 

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Pray for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

The open practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden in Saudi Arabia, and conversion to another faith is punishable by death. Here are a few examples of persecution in Saudi Arabia:
  1. A Saudi court in Al Khobar sentenced a Lebanese man to 6 years in prison and 300 lashes on charges of trying to convert a Saudi girl to the Christian religion. The court also sentenced a Saudi man and the Lebanese man to 8 years in prison and 500 lashes after they were convicted of smuggling the Saudi girl to Beirut and converting her to Christianity.
  2. News reports surfaced out of Saudi Arabia that the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia (the top Islamic official) has declared that it is "necessary to destroy all the churches in the region".
  3. The Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance reported that 53 Ethiopian Christians were arrested by Saudi authorities in February of 2013. Additionally, two expatriate Christians had crosses taken from them and were told that they could not pray.

*Names, photographs and other information have been changed for security purposes
 
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Map of Saudi Arabia

Quick Facts on Saudi Arabia

Rank: 6
Previous Rank: 2
Leader: King Abdullah
Government: Monarchy
Religion: Islam
Population: 29.9 million (1.25 million Christians)
Source of persecution: Islamic extremism
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