REPORT July 25, 2001
Saudi Police Snatch Another Christian in Midnight Raid
“Does Anyone Care that we Christians are targeted by the intolerant Muslim regime?”
(July 25, 2001 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) The government of Saudi Arabia appears to be launching a major sweep of Christians in the city of Jeddah. At 12:00 midnight Wednesday, July 25 five agents of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) once again raided another home of a Christian suspected of leading home meetings at which Christians gather for prayer and Bible study.
Eskinder Menghis, an Ethiopian working in Saudi Arabia, was awakened along with his wife and three children as MOI agents entered the family’s home. The agents gathered up Bibles, books, family photos, video and audio tapes as they forced Eskinder to go to police headquarters for interrogation.
Eskinder’s name was on a list containing several names and addresses of Christians living in Jeddah who were on a computer taken when MOI agents conducted a late night raid on the home of Prabhu Isaac a week ago today. He was subjected to psychological torture until the names of the Christian leaders of the home meetings were extracted from him. Prabhu is from India and has worked in a hospital in Jeddah for the past 17 years. He remains under arrest in the Farifia Prison. His wife has made a tearful appeal for help in getting her husband out of prison, but so far no government has been willing to intervene, including the United States.
Saudi Arabia has learned that they can eliminate religious expression without any firm international action being taken, just as China has learned through their massive sweep of Christians and others attempting to practice their faith outside the state’s control.
The president of the Washington, DC based human rights group International Christian Concern, has expressed dismay at the lack of substantive measures by the U.S. government to deal with flagrant abuses of human rights from countries like Saudi Arabia. In this so called “global village” we now find ourselves living, it is time we stood up for the values we believe are ‘self evident’ or otherwise be prepared to face the fact that one day we too will have to surrender our own rights to the oppressors. Christians are equally at fault for not speaking up for their fellow Christians around the world who suffer persecution. One day we may find ourselves having to hide to practice our faith. Who then will be left to speak up?”
One frantic Christian called the Washington, DC office of International Christian Concern pleading, “”Does anyone care that we Christians are targeted by the intolerant Muslim regime for elimination?” This man’s is on the list of names extracted by the MOI and is nervously waiting the midnight raid on his own home.
International Christian Concern is calling on Christians to rally behind Eskinder Menghis and Prabhu Isaac by swamping the phone and fax lines at the Saudi Arabian Embassy as well as the Secretary of State Colin Powell at the Department of State. The telephone and fax numbers are:
|Prince Bandor Bin Sultan
Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
|Secretary Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State