10/16/2020 Saudi Arabia (International Christian Concern) – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is chairing the virtual G-20 Interfaith Forum which began on Tuesday. The primary focus of the G-20 is global financial stability, and includes countries from the Middle East/North Africa region as well as the European Union. The G-20 economies collectively account for most of the world’s trade and gross world product.
Saudi Arabia has come under criticism for chairing this G-20 Interfaith Forum, given their seriously lacking record on religious freedom. Saudi Arabia is recommended by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom for designation as a country of particular concern because of violations, placing it in the same category as countries such as North Korea, Iran, and China.
The Secretary-General of Saudi Arabia’s National Committee for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue said in a statement, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always supported the efforts of religious leaders from different religious traditions and policy makers to tackle global challenges in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.” The evidence shows otherwise. Though presiding over the forum is a rotating position amongst member countries, Saudi Arabia has never shown any leadership on religious freedom issues. Within their own country, religious diversity is nearly non-existent because of persecution.
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