Home > Pestilence, Wars and Rumors of War > ‘Systematic, Ongoing and Egregious’: Why is Christian Persecution in Saudi Arabia Ignored?

‘Systematic, Ongoing and Egregious’: Why is Christian Persecution in Saudi Arabia Ignored?


By John Meinhold – “As I write, many Christians are observing Good Friday. Easter is the holiest season of the Christian faith. With CNN broadcasting the latest insignificant news about Kim Kardashian in the background, I happened to recently stumble on an obscure government document on the Internet from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). It turns out what I read in the USCIRF 2012 Annual Report was one of the most important documents I have read in many years.

USCIRF is tasked with reporting to the president, Secretary of State and Congress on international human rights abuses of religious freedom. Their recommendations are either acted upon or the country is given a waiver.

Why was I doing research on the Internet?

The Grand Mufti Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had recently been reported to say it is ‘necessary to destroy all the churches in the (Arabian Peninsula) region.’ Pretty shocking news since the Arabian Peninsula encompasses Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. Furthermore, the grand mufti is the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia and has world influence on Muslims. Yet, an Internet news search showed only the Washington Times and Houston Chronicle posted an editorial condemning his barbaric words. More disappointing is that only Reuters had a news story about archbishops from Russia, Austria and Germany decrying what the Saudi grand mufti said.

The Catholic Bishops Conference in Austria said the grand mufti’s fatwa was ‘incomprehensible‘ and demanded an official explanation from Riyadh. They said his words endangered Christians around the world, not just in Arab states.

According to the USCIRF report ‘systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom continue in Saudi Arabia.’ The report says, ‘More than 10 years since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the Saudi government has failed to implement a number of promised reforms related to promoting freedom of thought, conscience, and or belief. The Saudi government … prohibits churches, synagogues, temples, and other non-Muslim places of worship, uses in its schools and posts online state textbooks that continue to espouse intolerance and incite violence, and periodically interferes with private religious practice.'” Read more.

Flashback: Washington Times: Obama Administration Silent While Saudi Grand Mufti Targets Christianity, ‘Ignores These Types Of Provocations At Its Peril’ – “If the pope called for the destruction of all the mosques in Europe, the uproar would be cataclysmic. Pundits would lambaste the church, the White House would rush out a statement of deep concern, and rioters in the Middle East would kill each other in their grief. But when the most influential leader in the Muslim world issues a fatwa to destroy Christian churches, the silence is deafening.” Read more.

Flashback: Report: Saudis Export Anti-Christian and Anti-Jewish Textbooks that Continue to Fuel Intolerance and Violence Around the Globe – “Textbooks used in Saudi Arabia’s schools contain virulent forms of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish bigotry that continue to fuel intolerance and violence around the globe, says a new report…  ‘Because of the Saudis’ great oil wealth, it is able to disseminate its textbooks … to many Muslim schools, mosques and libraries throughout the world. ‘This is not just hate mongering, it’s promoting violence,’ she said in an interview. It is exporting terrorism through textbooks. Christians are referred to as ‘swine’ and Jews as ‘apes,’ while being blamed for much of the world’s ills.” Read more.

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