|Sources of Persecution||Islamic Oppression|
|Leader||King and Prime Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud|
Saudi Arabia: The Birth Place Of Islam.
The prophet Mohamed came from Saudi Arabia and today thousands of pilgrims flock to Mecca to complete the Haj (a religious ritual required of all Muslims). All expressions of religion other than Islam are forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Church buildings are completely prohibited. Despite this, the number of Christian converts from Islam is increasing, along with their boldness in sharing their new faith.
Faith Is Kept Secret.
New believers from a Muslim background must keep their faith a secret or risk being rejected by society. Families will often exclude Christians and the government may arrest them. One of the greatest challenges for the growing number of Christians in Saudi Arabia is a lack of fellowship. Many become discouraged as they are unable to meet together.
The monarchy was built on a close relationship between the king and Islamic preachers. It is what continues to hold the country together and is an important part of a Saudi's identity. Saudi Arabia uses much of its wealth gained from oil to export its hard-line theology. The country has been criticised in the past for its support of terrorism but with no result.
There is a growing gap between generations in the country. Youth culture is changing due to satellite TV, the internet and social media. There is also a considerable degree of youth unemployment. Social change is taking place to an extent but the royals have an absolute rule and stamp out any opposition.
A Saudi who recently found Christ was baptised abroad and now lives as a secret believer in Saudia Arabia. “Already for many years I had doubts when I was reading the Quran. But after starting to read the Bible and discovering Christ, it suddenly all makes sense. I believe now that Jesus is my Saviour and my God. He died for my sins at the cross.” - Mohammed*, Saudi Believer (*name change for security purposes)
Praise God for new opportunities that are opening with the internet and satellite television.
Pray for believers to have opportunities to meet together.
Pray for God to soften the hearts of many Saudi's to the gospel.