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ICC Note: 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.
02/19/2014 Saudi Arabia (MidEast Christian News) – A reliable source has told MCN that Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark’s Episcopate, has reached an agreement with the Saudi ambassador in Cairo, Ahmed Kattan, to establish the first church ever built inside Saudi Arabia.
The source said that Pope Tawadros was extremely happy upon his return to the Cathedral in Al-Abbasiya, where he met with a German parliamentary delegation after the end of his first visit to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
MCN was told that the Pope thanked the King of Saudi Arabia and the current government for their approval to build the first church, which will be Coptic, and for the warm welcome from the Saudi ambassador in Cairo.
The source added that at the meeting, the two leaders also discussed consolidating relations between the Church and Saudi Arabia, especially after the king of Saudi Arabia pledged to send aid to Egypt after the revolution of June 30. His Holiness also expressed his condolences for the victims of the recent fire in a Medina hotel.
There are many Egyptian Copts in Saudi Arabia, and there are also more than a million Christians from Southeast Asia, particularly from the Philippines.

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