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Saudi Arabia: Christian tourists at risk if they display their Bible in public

Christianity in Saudi Arabia is virtually nonexistent: any religious expression other than Islam is strictly forbidden, and any Saudi citizens who are Christians must practice their faith in secret, and risk imprisonment and even death by doing so. Foreign laborers who are Christians in Saudi Arabia must make no public display of their faith. In light of all that, while the regulations for tourists about Bibles and other Christian items are undeniably repressive, they actually represent a certain relaxation of regulations: visitors previously had their crosses or Bibles confiscated, and were expelled from the country if found with Christian material. Please keep the people of Saudi Arabia in your prayers and pray that this heralds the beginning of a real opening of the country to the light of the Gospel.

“Christian tourists at risk if they display their Bible in public in Saudi Arabia,” Barnabas Fund, October 14, 2019:

Saudi Arabia opened its doors to tourists for the first time with the launch of a tourist e-visa on 27 September, but Christian visitors should be aware that displaying a Bible in public, or taking more than one Bible into the country, could place them at risk of arrest.

The new regulations for tourists state that a Bible may be brought into the country provided it is for personal use only. Bibles must not be displayed in public and anyone found bringing a large number of Bibles will face “severe penalties”.

The ruins of an ancient church building, probably dating from the fourth century, were discovered in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. No visitors are allowed to the site
The ruins of an ancient church building, probably dating from the fourth century, were discovered in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. No visitors are allowed to the site [Source: Assyrian International News Agency (AINA)]

Saudi Arabia follows a strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and it is impossible for anyone living in the country to openly practise Christianity….

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