Saudi Arabia Declares Destruction of All Churches in Region conversion to Christianity punished by death.

Muslim pilgrims gather in Mecca on the last day of Hajj. (Omar Chatriwala of Al Jazeera English / Creative Commons)

Earlier this month, news reports surfaced out of Saudi Arabia that raised the red flag for Christians.

Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs USA, says, “The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia—the top Islamic official in the country of Saudi Arabia—has declared that it is ‘necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.'” Nettleton goes on to note that the report hasn’t surfaced anywhere except on the Council on Foreign Relations Web site, which was then picked up by The Atlantic.

As Saudi Arabia is ranked second on the Open Doors World Watch List (a compilation of the 50 countries where persecution of Christians is most severe), the news is not really a surprise. There is no provision for religious freedom in the constitution of this Islamic kingdom.

All citizens must adhere to Islam, and conversion to another religion is punishable by death. Public Christian worship is forbidden; worshippers risk imprisonment, lashing, deportation and torture. Evangelizing Muslims and distributing non-Islamic materials is illegal. Muslims who convert to Christianity risk being subjected to honor killings, and foreign Christian workers have been exposed to abuse from employers.

Sheikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, created an implication with his assertion. Nettleton explains, “This was in a meeting with Kuwaiti officials who came to Saudi Arabia. They were asking this Islamic official, ‘What should we do about the churches?’ His statement was, ‘There should be no Christian churches on the Arabian Peninsula.'”

According to the report, the delegation wanted to confirm Shariah’s position on churches. Essentially, Nettleton says, “If you have churches in Kuwait, which they do, they should be destroyed. The interesting thing about this is that there are no churches in Saudi Arabia. There are no church buildings that are allowed to exist there. So he clearly wasn’t talking only for his own country. He was trying to export this ideology to the surrounding countries.”

This proclamation could affect churches in Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Nettleton observes that “in most of these countries, we’re not talking about a lot of churches; we’re talking about a few that are allowed to exist primarily to serve foreigners that are living in that country.”

However, the U.N. Human Rights Council has yet to take a stand on such blatant violations of freedom of religion. How the governments implement this declaration is yet to be determined.

“Most of these countries would consider their native population to be 100 percent Muslim,” says Nettleton. “We could see more persecution. We could see churches closed or destroyed. We just kind of wait to see now.”

The concern raised by this view has not escaped the notice of the U.S. government, though. The most recent International Religious Freedom report (annually issued by the State Department) remarks, “Freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice. … The government officially does not permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country to conduct religious services, although some do so under other auspices and are able to hold services. These entry restrictions make it difficult for non-Muslims to maintain regular contact with clergy. This is particularly problematic for Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians, whose faiths require that they receive sacraments from a priest on a regular basis.”

For the most part, says Nettleton, the Mufti’s statement will be buried in the mainstream media. However, he’s encouraging believers to ask God to continue to intervene. There are Christ followers in Saudi Arabia who “take great risk to follow Jesus Christ,” he says. “They take great risk to even talk about their faith with another person. We can pray for God’s protection over them. We can pray for encouragement.”

What’s more, ask God to continue His intervention. While the Arabian Peninsula isn’t a place for the more traditional approach to sharing Christ’s story, there are still many who are encountering the gospel.

“Pray that Muslims will come to know Christ,” Nettleton says. “One of the things that’s happening, not only in Saudi Arabia but across the Middle East, is Muslims encountering Christ through dreams and visions and other supernatural ways.”


22 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia Declares Destruction of All Churches in Region conversion to Christianity punished by death.

  1. This, our “ally” in the Middle East, persecuting Christians. Meanwhile, Christians are not the ones who are given asylum in this Christian nation, but Muslims.

      • We ARE a Christian nation. We were not founded on the foundation of Islam, secularism, and did not had weird things like homosexuality which are unnatural.

  2. Then, Jesus warns believing Christians will be hated by the world . . .

    “If the world hates you,

    you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

    If you were of the world, the world would love its own.

    Yet because you are not of the world,

    but I chose you out of the world,

    therefore the world hates you.”

    (John 15:18-19)

    And Jesus prayed, “I have given them Your word;

    and the world has hated them (those Christians who love and follow the Messiah)

    because they are not of the world,

    just as I am not of the world.

    I do not pray that You should take them out of the world,

    but that You should keep them from the evil one (Satan).”

    (In the Bible, Satan is also called the “Ruler of this world”… until Christ (Messiah) returns)

    (John 17:14-15)

  3. THATS RIGHT ALL YOU PHONEY CHRISTIANS,keep on sucking these mustims ass,cause the days coming when there going to round you up ,and take you to their FEMA DEATH CAMPS,and you will take the MARK OF THE BEAST,cause you were never a christian,you just pretended you were,BUT they won’t care cause their going to kill you anyway,SO KEEP SUCKING,you got a little time left before the roundups start,and don’t forget to tell your family why your a coward ,cause real christians are fearless,cause they know the LORD PROTECTS HIS OWN,and they have nothing to fear………not even you and your daddy lucifer can harm them…………………………..

    • Not that I really give a rip,but I am curious as to whether you really believe that you are going to cross the threshold of the Pearly Gates packing all of that venom?

    • it might be more helpful to write to Saudi officials, as Jesus said to love your enemies. Tell them what it was like what IT IS LIKE – to have your life filled with God’s love and forgiveness.

  4. ONE OTHER THING,if you call your self a christian,AND YOU VOTED FOR THE ANTI-CHRIST, the lord says,you better get on your knees and start begging the lords forgiveness,because he warned all his children WHO OBAMA WAS,and you didn’t hear his voice telling his children ,OBAMA WILL BRING EVIL UPOND AMERICA,or worse yet,you didn’t care,in which case you are in trouble with him……….REPENT AMERICA,YOUR ALMOST OUT OF TIME TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT WITH THE LORD,ONCE THE DOOR CLOSES,IT WILL BE TO LATE,AND ‘DON’T TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST’..cause if you do,your trip to hell is guaranteed,and your final fate sealed…………


    • I think you ALSO should repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Your bitterness toward Christians, whether they are genuine or not, is rotting your own soul. You speak some truth, but your attitude betrays your heart.

  6. I feel that if you cuss you are not a Christian…and it is not true that not a single “thing” can hurt us Christians… God tells us that we should not deny him even if it means being put to death. I am Baptist and I promise to the Lord I will not deny him even if it meant death. Now most likely, because I’m a Redneck, I would kill the person who tried to kill me…so the chances of me being captured, because I might be armed to the teeth, are slim to none. By the way, our “Christian” nation is already persecuting Christians since we support Jihadists in Syria, which recently they decapitated a Christian civilian with a Machete…open you eyes America the END TIMES ARE HERE!

  7. Arizona… you should come out of your parents basement for a few minutes and expose yourself to something called REALITY. You talk so much SHIT on these posts. I don’t think Jesus would commend you for your efforts. I believe in Jesus and know the one true savior, but you sound like you’ve completely lost your mind, man.

  8. That’s all GOD’s battle, we pray for Christians in this region to stand firm and be courageous..
    US as the ally for Soude Arabia can exercise some pressure to push for religeous freedom but even if they don’t OUR GOD is able, HE will find a way

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  10. Lets not judge one another. Leave that to the Judge, the Lord Jesus. By our love for one another, they will know that we are His disciples.

    • The bible also says those who live righteously can judge for if we dont judge others for their deeds then why do we put people in prison(we pray for our enimies but they remain our enimies) We dont hate or condemn god people but thei ractions God is the ultimate judge but looking the other way while evil flourishes because we are not supposed to judge This is a luciferian philosophy if you dont believe me google some lady ga ga quotes, if we cant judge evil and condemn it as evil then evil PREVAILS

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  13. AMERICAN leaders have enough problems home to take care of- “OBOMBER“ looking for a distraction from“ homegrown problems“ –AMERICAN LEADERS MUST STOP PLAYING THE WORLD POLICE AND MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS. me think the world will be a better place without America Evil Leaders and those Sharia laws Muslim.

  14. — Christians should leave those sick evil Muslim countries and let the Muslims kill each other in their own land and the Christians kill each other in their own country also.

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