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Saudi Arabia

Before the modern state of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932, the Saud family made an alliance with the founder of Wahhabism, Muhammad Abd al Wahhab, in order to defend the two Islamic holy sites, Mecca and Medina, from Ottoman invasion. This single act has had massive repercussions today for Christian suffering throughout the world. Allying with Saudi Arabia, Abd al Wahhab sought to “purify” Islam by returning to the roots of Muhammad?s teachings, combating the culture?s moral decline and cleansing the Arabian peninsula of all idolatry (including Jews and Christians). Wahhabism was officially adopted as the authoritative sect of Islam within the Kingdom when the son of Muhammad ibn Saud married the daughter of Abd al Wahhab in 1744, a union which persistently continues to frame the power structure of Saudi Arabia.

Government: Saudi King Abdullah is not only the ruler of Saudi Arabia, but also the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (Mecca and Medina) and an authoritative voice on Sunni Islam. Saudi Arabia?s legal code is founded on Islamic Sharia law. Sharia is administered throughout the Kingdom in strict accordance with the interpretation of the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam, the same jurisprudence that was foundational to Wahhabism. Wahhabi Muslims believe that Sharia is sacred and therefore only accept judges who are studied and well versed in the oppressive Hanbali rule of law. Hanbali law punishes thievery with the amputation of limbs and condemns adulterers with public executions by stoning. These Wahhabi doctrines have been foundational to terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, and are among the prime sources of Christian persecution throughout Muslim-dominated countries.

Extremists Groups: Saudi political and funding organizations are as dangerous a part of radical Islam as violent terrorism. These groups have a common goal: the global spread of radical Islam. These seemingly disparate elements are equal players in a three-pronged war of extermination: military, political, and religious. Militarily, they seek to bleed the West through terrorism and sap the US?s will to fight. Politically, they manipulate democracy and subvert US institutions to place radical Muslims in power. Theologically, they attempt to convert moderate Muslims and to spread Wahabbi Islam into Western mosques. They have declared war against countries like the United States and are willing to pay any price to win. The financial foundation of Islam?s war with the West is Saudi Arabia, who spends billions of dollars to spread its theology around the world via mosques, boarding schools, and recruitment. These Islamists are organized, connected, and are adhering to a common doctrine; the Quran and Hadith. It is primarily for this reason that Saudi Arabia is listed among the top ten persecutors of Christians. It is difficult to estimate the amount of Christians who have been imprisoned, tortured or killed as a direct result of Saudi influence.

Persecution: Within Saudi borders, the government denies recognition or protection of any religion other than Sunni Islam. Not one public church building exists in the country as Christians are forced to worship underground. Suspected converts to Christianity often become victims of honor killings, meaning they are murdered by family or friends in order to „save face? amidst the Islamic society. Saudi Arabian courts punish apostates (converts from Islam to another religion) with the death sentence if they refuse to recant. Executions by beheading have been on the rise in an effort to deter criminals. Women are treated as second class citizens and given few rights. Making up only 5% of Saudi?s workforce, most women are forced to stay at home, often detained and abused by their husbands.