06/18/2021 Saudi Arabia (International Christian Concern) – Saudi Arabia recently launched Vision 2030, a plan to develop the country beyond oil dependence, though a strategic part is to promote a secular image in a culture historically marked by ultra-conservative Islam. Though foreign Christians and a number of Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) live in Saudi Arabia, Christians cannot publicly practice their faith and worship.
International organizations have pushed for a physical church building for a long time, though skepticism remains about the significance of a physical building. Foreign expatriates are the only Christians allowed to practice their faith, where natives to Saudi Arabia must keep their faith a secret from ultra-conservative families, like the MBB ICC previously reported on.
Including religious tolerance in Vision 2030 would be a beneficial aspect for Saudi Arabia’s new and improved image. However, the promotion of secularism instead of Islam does not guarantee religious freedom for Christians or other religious minorities in the country.
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