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Saudi Arabia

Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.

 

 

David Cameron: ‘We Should Stand Up against Persecution of Christians’

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Speaking at an Easter event, British Prime Minister David Cameron raised the issue of Christian persecution. “It is the case that Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world. “We should stand up against persecution of Christians and other faith groups wherever and whenever we can,” he told the audience including representatives of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Study Shows More Religious Violence in Less Religiously Diverse Countries

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

A recent study has show that there are more incidents of religiously motivated violence in countries that lack religious diversity. Both Somalia and Afghanistan are among the least religiously diverse countries in the world and top the list for countries with the most religiously motivated incidents of violence. Across the Muslim world, Christians living in Muslim majority countries face daily persecution. Take a moment to pray for them today. 

Obama “Silent” Over Persecution Christians In Saudi Arabia

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

When President Obama met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, he missed an opportunity to speak out for the protection of fundamental human rights, including those of Christians living in one of the most restrictive countries. President Obama has repeatedly claimed that promoting these rights are a key objective of his foreign policy, but in actions he has not demonstrated this. Key positions in his administration remain vacant and in addressing those with serious issues the United States has missed numerous opportunities.

Use of Blasphemy Laws Spreading Across Muslim World

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

According to a recent report, more and more Muslim majority countries are beginning to enforce Islamic blasphemy laws to the determent of religious minorities. In many cases, the people who suffer the most under blasphemy laws are religious minorities. Many believe that blasphemy laws are not compatible with international human rights standards because the violate individuals religious freedom and free speech right.  

Watchdog Asks Why Obama Failed to Talk Religious Freedom With Saudi King

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Last week President Obama met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is one of the most restrictive governments in the world for Christians and for other religious minorities. Despite a letter from 70 members of congress urging the president to address these issues, he did not. President Obama has said that promoting religious freedom and human rights is a key objective of his foreign policy, and yet in a meeting with the king of one of the most egregious violators in the world, he said nothing.

President Obama Silent on Religious Freedom in Saudi Arabia

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that President Obama did not publicly broach the subject of religious freedom during his visit Friday with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, despite a letter from 70 members of Congress urging him to do so on Thursday. “Obama had not had time to raise concerns about the kingdom’s human rights record,” U.S. officials said according to Reuters.

Members Press Obama To Raise Human Rights In Saudi Arabia

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Ahead of President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia, 70 members of congress sent a letter to the President urging him to raise human rights and religious freedom issues with King Abdullah during his meeting. The letter received support from International Christian Concern and other NGOs supporting religious freedoms, as well as groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that address larger human rights abuses.

Congress: Obama Must Press Saudi Arabia on Human Rights

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

As President Obama is about to meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, 50+ members of Congress are calling for him to address human rights issues while he is there. Saudi Arabia, while a close ally of the United States, is one of the most restrictive governments in the world in preventing any form of Christian worship. This has serious implications when considering that millions of foreign workers, many who are Christian, live in Saudi Arabia and yet have no churches or places of worship. 

Time For Obama To Speak Out For Religious Freedom in Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Is promoting religious freedom abroad a priority in President Obama’s foreign policy? A few members of Congress certainly think it should be. On Thursday, the President will be getting a letter from more than 50 representatives urging him to publicly address human rights and religious freedom during his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.

Catholicism Growing in Heart of Muslim World

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

A surprising fact that many are not aware of is that the Arab peninsula is home to more than 2 million Catholics. At a time when the region is seeing an exodus of its Christian population, there are hundreds of thousands of Catholics coming to the region, largely as foreign workers. This is creating challenges regarding the treatment of minority faiths in the heartland of Islam. There have been some steps towards the opening of a church in Bahrain that would serve as the cathedral for Northern Arabia. Protecting the rights of foreign workers – both their personal and religious rights – is a topic that the countries of the Arab peninsula most seriously consider.

Coptic Pope Tawadros and Saudi Ambassador Agree to Open Saudi Arabia’s First Church

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

According to sources in Egypt, an agreement has been reached to officially open a Coptic church in Saudi Arabia. This is being described as the first church ever built inside Saudi Arabia. It is unclear whether the church would be permitted to accept Saudi nationals who may wish to come. There are estimated to be more than a million foreign Christians living inside Saudi Arabia who have very limited access to religious activities or services. A formal church would be a step in the right direction, though is largely symbolic rather than a substantive change of policy towards Christianity.

Christians Fight for Middle East Religious Freedom Watchdog

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Christians face a rising level of religious freedom around the world, and especially in the Middle East. Two recent studies from respected research organizations, Pew Forum and Open Doors, have highlighted the massive scale of the issue. Many are pushing for the United States to make the protection of religious minorities a core part of foreign policy, which the administration says that it already is. The problem has been in the failure to back the rhetoric with action. While there are political issues involved, it is imperative that the positions that exist to protect religious minorities be quickly filled if the United States is to have any credibility behind its claims to be a defender of religious freedom.

Congress Hears Testimony on ‘Flagrant’ Christian Persecution in Middle East

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Lawmakers listened to testimony from experts and religious leaders highlighting the persecution of Christians that is rampant across the Middle East. As a representative from the Vatican stated, Arab Christians “find themselves the target of constant harassment for no reason other than their religious faith.” The United States has an important role to play in leading the conversation to find solutions to religiously based discrimination and persecution.

Persecution of Christians May Hit Record Levels in 2014

Monday, January 27th, 2014

While 2013 marked a very difficult year for Christian communities around the world, 2014 may be even more dangerous. The Middle East saw unprecedented levels of persecution, especially in Syria, where Open Doors recorded 1,213 Christian martyrs in 2013. Western media and governments can do more to cover the subject and to pressure nations who allow religious persecution to step in and protect Christians from violence. 

World’s Oldest Christian Communities Threatened with Extinction

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The following article provides an excellent overview of the situation for Christians across the Middle East who, if current trends continue, are facing extinction. It also asks the pivotal question, why isn't the West outraged? For a decade the Middle East has been emptying of Christians by the hundreds of thousands as radical Islamic movements in the region become increasingly violent. Syria, Iraq, and Egypt are perhaps the best examples of this trend. ICC is actively working to raise awareness and bring assistance to many of these communities. 

Report: 9 out of 10 Top Christian Persecution Countries Due to Islamic Extremism

Friday, January 10th, 2014

In the latest report highlighting the status of Christian persecution around the world, 9 out of the top 10 countries are Muslim majority states, and Islamic extremism is the primary cause of their persecution of Christians. North Korea again holds the spot at #1 for the worst persecutor of Christians, but behind that it is Islamic extremism that is largely driving the problem. Another troubling aspect has been the relatively silence of the United States government on the issue, despite efforts within Congress to make it a higher priority for the State Department and the White House. 

Reported Christian ‘Martyr’ Deaths Double in 2013

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

A newly released study documents that more than 2,100 Christians were killed as “martyr’s” in 2013. The greatest increase was seen in Syria. With a reported 1,213 deaths, Syria alone eclipsed the global total of 1,201 from 2012. The report is intentionally narrow in its definition of “martyr” and tries to distinguish between Christians killed in the midst of broader conflict and those killed explicitly for their faith. Nine of the ten worst persecuting countries are Muslim-majority states. As a whole, the report finds that “Islamist extremism is the worst persecutor of the worldwide church.”

Why Christians Are Crucial to the Middle East’s Future

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

The following interview with Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, provides important insight into why Christians play such an important role in the Middle East and how the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of Christians specifically is in the best interests of all peoples in the Middle East, and even in the West as well.

Blasphemy Laws: The Legalization of Christian Persecution

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Blasphemy and defamation of religion laws continue to repress the Christian faith in countries across the world. Known for inciting violence, accusations and prosecutions on the basis of blasphemy or religious defamation have proven detrimental to the free exercise of religion and harmful to minority Christian communities throughout the world. Social hostilities, advanced by cultures of impunity, continue to pose a serious threat to Christians worldwide.

Gender-based Violence Evident Against Christian Women in Muslim Lands

Friday, June 14th, 2013

The conclusion of a new report by the US Hudson Institute researcher Lela Gilbert is clear and unequivocal:  gender-based violence plays a key strategic role in the plans of those who wish to eradicate Christians and Christian belief from Muslim lands.”

Lashings, Imprisonment for Converting Coworker in Saudi Arabia

Friday, May 24th, 2013

The sentencing of a Lebanese Christian to lashings and imprisonment for converting a Saudi coworker puts the spotlight on the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its firm resistance to reason or political persuasion.

Saudi Arabia Sentences Men to Prison, Lashings for Role in Woman’s Conversion to Christianity

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Two men accused of helping a young woman flee Saudi Arabia after her conversion to Christianity were sentenced to prison terms and lashes with a whip by a Saudi court on Sunday.

Christianity ‘close to extinction’ in Middle East

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

“Christianity faces being wiped out of the “biblical heartlands” in the Middle East because of mounting persecution of worshippers,” The Telegraph reports.

Saudi Textbooks Teach Hate Toward Christians and Jews

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Textbooks in Saudi Arabian schools continue to discriminate against minorities and teach outright hatred toward Christians and Jews. “The Jews and the Christians are enemies of the believers, and they cannot approve of Muslims” and “The apostate has two punishments; worldly and in the hereafter. Punishment in this life: Death if he does not repent,” are among the teachings studied by Saudi children. Despite international pressure to reform Saudi curriculum, progress has yet to be made.

Arab Spring Threatens the Existence of Ancient Christian Communities in the Middle East

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Christians in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East have been the killed, kidnapped, and driven from their homeland “by the forces of intolerant Muslim supremacism that were unleashed as a result of the so-called Arab Spring,” John Eibner, the President of Christian Solidarity International, told World Net Daily. “The biggest complication today arising from the threat of the eradication of Middle Eastern Christian communities is related to America’s alliance with Sunni Islamist states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey.”

Intolerance is rife in Islamic lands

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

A religious freedom report released by the U.S. State Department signifies that violence and discrimination targeting Christians and other religious minorities is most prevalent in the Islamic world. In Egypt, Christians have been arrested for “insulting Islam” and several churches have been burned and destroyed. In Iran, tens of Christians are imprisoned, including one on death row, for apostasy. And, in Pakistan, Christians have been attacked by mobs and harassed by police for allegedly blaspheming Islam. With the political rise of Islamists following the Middle East’s so-called ‘Arab Spring’, it is likely that Christian persecution will continue to increase.

The Mideast’s Vanishing Christians

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Christians throughout the Middle East are being attacked and killed while thousands upon thousands have fled their homeland in hopes of finding a safe haven in western countries. For example, in Iran, the Revolutionary Guard has taken over the oversight of churches and has arrested scores of Christian converts from Islam. In Kuwait, the Saudi grand mufti told crowds that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.” In Gaza, Christians have allegedly been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. These cases are just a few of many extreme acts and threats of persecution in the Middle East that The National Interest brings to light in this revealing article.

Saudi Woman Publicly Announces her Faith in Christ

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

“A Saudi woman who introduced herself as ‘Maryam’ announced in a video… that she has forsaken Islam and converted to Christianity,” Mohabat News reports.

Saudi Arabia Deports 35 Ethiopian Christians For Practicing Their Faith

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

US: Egypt’s Islamists must respect minorities

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

A U.S. State Department report on religious freedom expresses concern over whether or not the newly elected Islamist government in Egypt will respect the freedoms of religious minorities. The report also criticizes Afghanistan for trying non-Muslims in Islamic courts and Pakistan for issuing death sentences for blasphemy.

  • Kids

    Care for orphans and hurting children

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  • Families

    Support wives and children of imprisoned or martyed pastors

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  • Pastors

    Spread the gospel by supporting underground pastors

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  • Women

    Save women from abduction and sexual exploitation

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  • Communities

    Help rebuild communities devastated by persecution

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Other Projects

other projects

ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.