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Christian Arrests Contradict Saudi’s Promotion of Religious Tolerance

Christian Arrests Contradict Saudi’s Promotion of Religious Tolerance

04/19/2012 International Christian Concern (Washington, D.C.)- Thirty-five Ethiopian Christians remain behind bars after being arrested in December for holding a prayer meeting at a private home in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Despite international pressure, Saudi officials have refused to release the prisoners which blatantly contradicts the kingdom’s recent promotion of religious tolerance.

Saudi police officers raided the prayer meeting on December 15. The Christians, mostly women, are being held in Briman jail. The prisoners are in need of proper medical attention and are suffering from malnutrition. Despite health concerns, the Christians express that those are the lease of their concerns. Their greatest fear is being forgotten. Without an increase in pressure from the international community, the prisoners could remain behind bars indefinitely.

“We want to go back to our country and worship freely. Why don’t they release us?” a prisoner recently told ICC.

Saudi Arabia’s imprisonment and mistreatment of the Ethiopian Christians contradicts its initiative to encourage religious tolerance around the world. In July of 2008, Saudi Arabia led an interfaith dialogue in Spain to promote tolerance and understanding among followers of different religions. Then Saudi Arabia established a Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue located in Vienna, Austria in October 2011. Yet, within Saudi borders, religious tolerance does not exist.

International Christian Concern (ICC) was the first organization to report the arrests and is working tirelessly to defend the prisoners’ freedoms. In February and March, ICC held two demonstrations outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, D.C. calling for the Ethiopian Christians’ immediate and unconditional release. However, human rights organizations are concerned that the Saudi government will continue to turn a deaf ear to their demands unless additional pressure is applied by the international community. Groups such as ICC have continued asking their supporters around the world to call Saudi Arabian embassies and ask for the release of the prisoners.


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  • Clarence Anthony

      May God be with the team of ICC. And i wood like to request the churches to pray to God that he may protect His People.God Bless you.

  • BILL

    The west, and especially Christians, must realize that there can be no peace with Islam.  Islam will NOT "reform" and exhibit or practice religious tolerance.  If the west allows itself to become subject ot the rule and influence of Muslims then all of the Christian pious statements of acceptance of "persecution" while we sit fat and lazy in our pews will become the horrible nightmares that Christians suffer at the hands of Muslims EVERYWHERE THE MUSLIMS HAVE ENOUGH POWER TO ASSERT THEMSELVES.

  • Waleedazhargc

    Its their own action, not founded in islam because it is against the teachings of Quran as Quran Says; There is no compulsion in Islam

  • Waleedazhargc

    Sorry, Quran says ;there is no compulsion in religion ..:)

  • Alan Gerald Smith

    That's not the point.  The Saudis are not trying to "force" the Ethiopians to convert to Islam.  The Saudis are against any non-Muslim religion to be practiced in Arabia.  This would be okay, because it's their country, but it's wrong for Saudis to preach "religious tolerance" when they themselves are not allowing it.  They shouldn't lie.  They should tell the world the truth, that they (the Saudis) are against religious tolerance.

  • Djosh0305

    If you tell the world that you are in favor in religious tolerance when at your own home, you are not practicing what you preach, your religion will be useless...Only pretend to be strong in outside but inside is empty.Even Allah, the God Almighty, looks on the heart of a man not on outward appearance. Prove your faith by what you preach to the world, faith without an action is dead at all. PEACE!

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