Are there Christians in Saudi Arabia?

Arno Froese

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22). 

We must realize that this end-time prophecy Jesus uttered is directed toward His disciples and the people of Israel in the first place. We know from history, particularly church history, that Christians have been persecuted and killed for their faith.

Even today, there is Christian persecution in some places. While it is difficult to determine whether it speaks of Christians by tradition or true Christians by faith, there is little doubt that in many Islamic countries—where Christians are a small minority—it is somewhat difficult to practice their faith.

Take Saudi Arabia, for example; it is strictly forbidden to bring a Bible into the country.

Are there Christians in Saudi Arabia? Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Accurate religious demographics are difficult to obtain in Saudi Arabia but while all citizens are considered Muslims by the state, there are believed to be at least 1.5–2 million Christians living in the country.

While Muslims in the European world (West) can practice their religion freely, even build mosques and other religious and cultural centers, that is not the case for non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia allows Christians to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practice their faith openly. Because of that Christians generally only worship within private homes. Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are prohibited. These include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols, and others.

The article goes further to say:

International Christian Concern (ICC) protested what it reported as the 2001 detention of 11 Christians in Saudi Arabia, for practicing their religion in their homes. In June 2004, at least 46 Christians were arrested in what the ICC described as a “pogrom-like” action by Saudi police. The arrests took place shortly after the media reported that a Quran had been desecrated in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Christians and other non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the cities of Mecca and Medina, Islam’s holiest cities.

Persecution of Jews
In the opposite direction are the Jews who don’t believe in Jesus. It was often for that reason they were severely persecuted during the last 2,000 years, climaxing in the most horrific mass murder of six million Jews under the Nazi regime of Germany. Contrary to Christian persecution, which often has little to no relationship to real Christianity, the Jews were persecuted for being Jews. An explanation may be necessary. There are Christians and Christians by religion. For example, the Thirty Years’ War in Europe was fought between the Catholics and the Protestants, but these Protestants were fighting flesh-and-blood and cannot be considered Christians in the truest Biblical sense.

There is no other group of people in the world that have as much documentation regarding persecution as the Jews.

Christian Persecution of Jews
We received a German newspaper titled Christ & Welt, 24 May 2017. The newspaper article was headlined “In Aller Freundschaft” (“In All Friendship” in English). The article concerned itself with the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg. Fourteen important issues were dealt with. What caught our eye was article 9, titled “For Peace.” Here is the translation:

Nowhere is ecumenism as developed as in peace work. Since the emergence of the association “Living Without Arms” in 1978, the basic pacifist movements “Pax Christi” and Protestant peace groups have transformed society. One cannot imagine the church today without it. Their concord, however, is also based on a common opponent: Israel. The ecumenical theme “50 years of Israeli occupation—We must not be silent” by the “Kairos Palestine Solidarity Network” cannot be held at the Catholic Academy in Berlin, but will be moved to Marzahn.
-German Evangelical Church Congress (Kirchentag)

Unity between the various groups of evangelicals and the Catholic Church is based on “a common opponent: Israel.” How horrendous; Israel is actually the only nation that should be wholeheartedly supported by Christians. Why? Because the Bible, our ultimate authority for the Christian life, comes from Israel. The writers were Jews. Jesus Christ our Lord was, is, and always will be a Jew. Yet, the Evangelical Congress in Germany does not mention even extremely anti-Christian countries such as Saudi Arabia, but singled out Israel, the only functioning democracy in the Middle East. They are the most successful country in that area, and doubtless in the future will be the greatest. A church organization, presumably to teach Holy Scripture, has no enemies except one: Israel.

The actions of the Evangelical Church Congress in Germany, confirm the prophecies of Balaam, who was paid by Balak to curse the people of Israel. He said: “How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:8-9).

That is just another reason why we, the Church of Jesus Christ, support Israel unconditionally.

Midnight Call - 10/2017 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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