Saudi Arabia


Conversion from Islam is unacceptable in Saudi Arabia under Islamic law.


"I am surrounded by a family who are continually involved in evil practices, yet I am able to stand strong in the authority of Christ and not live in fear."

– Waleed*, Saudi Christian


Middle East
Sources of persecution
Islamic Oppression
Christian population
King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud

What’s Life Like For Christians?

The small number of Saudi Christians has been slowly increasing, and they’re becoming bolder, sharing their faith with others online and on satellite TV, but it comes at a cost.

This is because conversion from Islam to Christianity is unacceptable under Islamic law—in fact, it’s considered one of the biggest sins a Muslim can commit. If discovered, men and boys are more likely to be forced out of the home, whereas women and girls are usually isolated and abused within the home. All converts risk being killed to ‘restore’ the family honour. While some Saudi Christians are open about their faith, most choose to keep it hidden, even from their own children, so they don’t inadvertently reveal their parents’ faith.

Foreign Christians can face similar challenges. All expatriates are severely restricted in sharing their faith with Muslims and gathering for church activities. Doing so can lead to detention and deportation.

Encouragingly, there seems to be more openness in society to expressing and exploring new ideas, and some Saudis are exploring Christianity. There are also reports that many young people would not be against allowing the presence of church buildings in Saudi Arabia. Amid pressure and persecution, God is on the move.

Who Is Most Vulnerable To Persecution?

Christian women receive a double persecution in Saudi Arabia – first for being Christian, and then for being female.

In Saudi Arabia’s strongly Islamic and patriarchal society, women and girls have little to no voice—and being a Christian effectively leaves them silenced. 

Women who leave Islam can experience house arrest, physical violence, verbal harassment and forced marriage to a Muslim man. Converts who are already married risk being divorced and losing custody of their children.


– That secret believers will find other Christians to meet with.

– That the number of people coming to know Jesus will grow.

– That Saudi society would be open to allowing people to follow Jesus freely.

What Does Open Doors Do To Help?

Open Doors supports the body of Christ on the Arabian Peninsula by organising prayer, distributing Scripture resources, and training believers and pastors.

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