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Christians in prison, beaten in Saudi Arabia

Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2011)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that two Indian Christians working in Saudi Arabia have been arrested in Batha, Riyadh, and sentenced to 45 days in prison.

On March 11, 2010, at 8:30 PM local time, Vasantha Sekhar and Nese Yohan were arrested and beaten. They were accused of proselytizing. ICC contacts in Saudi Arabia believe they were arrested to keep them from practicing Christianity privately in their home.

While in prison awaiting trial their apartment was ransacked. They face uncertainty regarding their future. An employer has returned the passport of one of the Christians, making it clear that his job is no longer available, and he will be expelled. The other Christian awaits information regarding his legal status and job.

Saudi Arabia has a long history of quietly cracking down on Christians. In 2004, 28 Indian workers were arrested in Messriam for practicing Christianity. The charges were dropped, but in 2010 they were brought up again. 1 was deported, and one has been arrested. In another case 16 Indian workers were arrested in February 2008, and then released after 3 days. In 2010, 8 left the country of their own accord and 3 of the remaining 8 were issued deportation orders and expelled.

“These two Christians have faced false charges and false evidence. The Saudi government continues to engage in an array of severe violations of human rights as part of its repression of freedom of religion.” said Logan Maurer, ICC Advocacy Director.

Please contact Saudi Arabia officials and politely ask them to release and not expel vulnerable religious communities of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Embassies: United States: (202) 342-3800 UK: (+44-20)79173000 Canada: (+1-613) 2374100

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  • Kaiserdr

    My family and I lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 25 years. We are Christians and as long as we were not openly promoting our religious beliefs we were not bothered. Numerous Christians hold church services every week and are not in any way prohibited from doing so.

    It is usually the religious practitioners who abuse the system who get caught and whom you hear about. As Christians it was easy to bring one of two Bibles into Saudi Arabia without a problem. The problem arises when someone wants to abuse the system and bring in a carload of Bibles or make a profit from their religion by openly selling them.

    There is always someone who wants to flaunt the system and authority and these are the people you read about.

  • Shekina Serafina

    There is no religious freedom in that country. People who practice their religion openly DO NOT ABUSE THE SYSTEM. RATHER, THE SYSTEM TYRANNIZES FREEDOM AND RELIGION. "THE PROBLEM" IS A HYPOCRITICAL TERM. PROBLEM TO WHO? PROBLEM IN WHAT? THE LAW IS ALL DAMNED FOR NOT RESPECTING PEOPLE WHO PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION FREELY.

  • Sulemanjohn17

    This is not a good justification from your side, Saudi Arabia should allow Christians to build Churches and worship openly. Muslims are allowed in all the Christian countries of world to build their mosques and to practice their religion openly. If Saudi Ariabia has a racist system towards other religions, that need to be changed.

  • shirley

    can anyone tell me why muslim and other governments are frightened of christianity.The muslims believe jesus was a prophet. Dont they realise christians dont pose a threat but may speak out about human rights but dont fight in any other way.An asset to any country,why are you so threatened?

  • Satishdavid

    Exact Date is 21/Jan/2011, They were neither taken to court nor sentenced yet. They just kept in custody inside jail till today. No officials were initiating this issue because of religious matter. I appeal to all be strong in the Lord and uphold Saudi Arabian Christians in your prayers. thanks.

  • Enrico

    Muhammad was a tyrant who's family worshiped 360 gods,one for each day of the lunar year, Muhammad's relations favorite god was the moon god Allah and he religiously murdered anyone who disagreed with him. In fact Muhammad called for the execution of practitioners of all other religions. Jesus spoke this about himself Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. The truth is that Muhammad was ignorant about Christianity, and his hatred comes through in the koran, also it is a religion of domination, ignorance and contempt. Muhammad believed that the sun settles in a black muddy pool Sura 18 The Cave Verse 84. Another example is when Muhammad says that when you murder a non muslim it is not you who is doing the murder but god. There are a lot of really stupid people who believe this. Muhammad also said that only perfect Muslims will go to heaven all the rest will go to hell, so my guess is that every Muslim is going to hell. I have tried to bring the good news of salvation to Muslims but they are so frightened of being executed by fellow Muslims, they would rather die a lie. It takes a very brave person to buck the trend. your point about Jesus being a prophet according to the Koran he was only a prophet because Allah was not married and did not have a wife so he could not have any children. Muhammadanism is a religion of world domination with no freedom.

  • Nicholash12

    We pray for The LORD JESUS,YESHUA our MESSIAH to convict the lost,save them,these persecuting, and deliver our Bros, Sisters Troops,an others in harms way,prison,persecution,and give HIS Grace,Mercy to them,us,to endure,NOT fear man, ONLY The LORD JESUS,YESHUA our MESSIAH and Bless,heal,save ALL in need,in YESHUA'S HOLY,AWESOME SAVING NAME above ALL names,KING of kings,LORD of lords,of ISRAEL,Amen.Shalom

  • Adejumo Obafemi

    over the years i thing i know is that the blood of the matyr is the seed of the church. The only thing i pray for christians is that God should give us the courage to live above the pain that comes with christianity. If truly they believe they are right why cant they be like the people in Gideons time who said let baal contend with him. well ours is a message of love and the bible says love never fails.

  • Noreply

    Appreciate the comments here from each perspective. Saudi Arabia and Muslims are not frightened by Christianity, rather they view many of the Nicene Council entrenched "christian" doctrines as blasphemous and they wish to keep the country more purely Islamic as it historically has been. And free as possible from polytheism (Jesus is God etc.) I know many will not want to hear this. If you go to Saudi Arabia, simply obey the laws of that land. If you have a problem with that, do go there. It's that simple.

  • Kaiserdr

    Very simple solution indeed, if you have a problem with Saudi Arabia's position on religion, do not go there. When I was in Saudi Arabia, for 25 years, Muslims never attempted to convert me to THEIR religion--but born again Christians, Catholics and Mormons were very forward about getting us to join their churches.

    Mohammed it so happens was against multiple gods and perpetuated the idea of ONE God. He was preceded by Pagans who believed in multiple gods, animal worship and other nature worship.

    As a long-time Christian raised as a Protestant in the 50s, I see a lot of liberty taken today in the  west with the Christian religion. In the Presbyterian church and an Episcopalian church, I was taught that Jesus was the son of God, but not considered as God or prayed to. I find it objectionable when I hear someone praying to Jesus.

    In the Muslim religion Jesus IS recognized as a prophet, like Mohammed, and a saint. That is also the position taught by the Presbyterian and Episcopalian churches to which I belonged.

    There are many resemblances between Jewish, Muslim and Christian teachings and practices. The Quran and Muslims who follow the Quran actually believe that Jews, Muslims and Christians are the chosen religions and have disdain for religions that do not acknowledge ONE GOD. There is no objection in the Quran or in Saudi Arabia for Jews, Muslims and Christians to marry.

    As mentioned in my other post, we attended church services in Saudi Arabia and many churches were there, they were just not publicized. Where we lived there were Catholic, Christian (born again), and Mormon services every weekend. Having a church building has nothing to do with religion or religious beliefs and in fact here I find some of the ostentatious church buildings and ministries are a LOT worse.

    I now live in the southern U.S. where if you aren't a Baptist you are not accepted. My family and I were more accepted in Saudi Arabia. In the south you will find lots of Baptist churches but good luck finding a Presbyterian or Episcopalian church.

    Some of the comments here reflect the influence of people who have absolutely no experience with Saudi Arabia or the Muslim religion.

  • Darwinl

    To my christian brothers and sisters in Saudi, like me. Be strong and hold on to our faith. Like our savior JESUS CHRIST, he was persecuted, mock, etc... eventually crucified. And still, in his life, he teach the people to love their enemy. He blesses those who mock him and persecuted him. And many who witness his example believe in him. I do believe this Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will open their heart and allow us, christian, to practice our religion in this land. When we set a good examples to our Muslims brothers and sisters. Showing them that we are good citizen in this land. And with the help of Allah (GOD), HE will soften the hearts of the Saudi leaders. In GOD nothing is impossible.

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