Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > ‘Unprecedented’: Saudi Security Forces Raid Christian Prayer Meeting in Jeddah and Arrest 42 Christians, Many Beaten and Threatened with Death

‘Unprecedented’: Saudi Security Forces Raid Christian Prayer Meeting in Jeddah and Arrest 42 Christians, Many Beaten and Threatened with Death

Sura 9:123, “O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty.”

“Washington, D.C. (December 17, 2011) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Saudi security forces arrested 42 Ethiopian Christians at a prayer gathering in Jeddah on Thursday. The location of the detained Christians is unknown.

On December 15, Saudi police and security officers raided an evening prayer meeting at the home of an Ethiopian Christian in the Al-Safa district of Jeddah. Those attending the service were reportedly beaten and threatened before being arrested.

‘Security officials broke [into] the house and captured… beat and threatened them for death… They divided the men and the women and they are torturing them [in prison],’ an Ethiopian and Eritrean Christian immigrant community living in Europe wrote in a desperate appeal for help to the ambassadors of European embassies in Riyadh on Friday.

‘Saudi Arabian officials have arrested Christians in the past but it is unprecedented for them to arrest 42 Christians at one time,’ a church leader in Jeddah, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told ICC. ‘We are particularly concerned about the children of the detained Christians.’

Two Ethiopian fellowships in Saudi Arabia informed ICC that they will temporarily postpone services until the situation calms. Christians in Saudi Arabia, most of who enter the country as foreign workers, are not allowed to practice their faith openly. Saudi police have been known to raid private worship gatherings in homes, arrest and deport congregants, and confiscate Christian materials, including Bibles.

Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, ‘Though not permitting a single church building where Christians can worship in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government goes even further to assault the religious freedoms of its citizens and foreign workers by hunting for and arresting Christians who attend services in the privacy of their own homes. As a signatory to the UN Convention against Torture, we urge Saudi Arabia to end the abuse that the Ethiopian Christians have reportedly suffered in prison and to ensure their immediate release.'” Source – Persecution.org.

  1. 12/19/2011 at 12:50 AM

    Saw this on DEBKAfile–Iran propositions Saudis, seeks anti-US pact, offers nuclear cooperation:

    …”debkafile’s Iranian sources report that the Iranians pushed hard for a partnership with the Saudis on such issues as oil, Iraqi, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen, on most of which Tehran and Riyadh are in direct collision. Saudi Arabia spearheads the Persian Gulf emirates’ campaign to establish a bloc of Sunni Arab kings and rulers to fight off Iranian expansion and the influence of the Shiite Hizballah and Syria.

    The visitors to Riyadh pointed out that a Saudi-Iranian axis in the region would be strong enough to freeze out American and Turkish meddling in the Arab Revolt. It would draw its strength from the combination of Iranian military, intelligence and nuclear capabilities on the one hand and Saudi power and wealth on the other. For the sake of this pact, Moslehi said, Tehran was willing to share its nuclear program with Riyadh…

    …the Iranian visitor is reported by debkafile’s sources as explaining to his Saudi hosts that an understanding between them had been reached before and could be reached again. He referred to the May 2008 agreement on Lebanon known as the “Doha Accord,” under which Iran, the Persian Gulf states and Syria agreed that the Lebanese crisis would end without winners and losers but with a power-sharing arrangement granting representation to all the country’s adversarial forces, including Hizballah.


  2. 12/19/2011 at 12:51 AM

    This was also interesting–Erdogan’s illness impacts events around Syria and Iran

    Extreme concern was quietly voiced Sunday, Dec. 18, by American and European official circles over the state of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s health – and especially its impact on present and impending events in Syria and other parts of the Middle East, including Iran

    …The question asked in Washington is this: Is the Turkish leader in fit condition to continue to help the Obama administration carry forward their agreed plans in the region?

    They were not encouraged by the comment heard from Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc while Erdogan was away from Ankara.

    He chastised the ruling Justice and Development Party –AKP for “divisions… in Erdogan’s absence…” over a bill for regulating the nomination of party candidates.

    Turkish pundits saw those “divisions” as symptoms of a power struggle already afoot over the Erdogan legacy.

    And so the next day, Arinc admitted “he had made a very big mistake” in bringing the argument out in the open.
    There were no comments in Israel on the Turkish prime minister’s medical condition.


  3. ICA
    12/19/2011 at 10:16 AM

    I’d be very surprised if this is true. Iran and Saudi Arabia are avowed enemies, and the news that Erdogan’s health may be deteriorating is worthy of close attention. I’m going to do some more digging on this. Thanks for the heads up.


  4. 12/19/2011 at 10:45 AM

    The first article does fall outside the mean–on the other hand, leaders in both Iran & S.A. stand to lose a lot by the “Arab Spring” if it reaches their countries in a significant measure. There was chaos and many killed in the demonstrations in Iran during the sham elections of 2009; they don’t want that again.

    Also, up to a year ago, we were hearing more about a Turkey-Iran alignment, but with the Syrian crackdowns, Turkey has pulled away while Iran has stuck by Assad’s side.


  5. 12/19/2011 at 11:35 PM

    Saudi thoughts pointing to an Arab Super State



  6. ICA
    12/20/2011 at 12:34 AM

    Saw that, very good article. Now we have both Iran calling for a Shia coalition, and Saudi Arabia calling for a Sunni coalition. One kingdom. Divided.


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