Saudi Arabia Continues Crackdown on Private Christian Worship
Officials in Saudi Arabia are notorious for their intolerance of outsiders observing the Christian faith within Saudi borders, and on February 8 the country's religious police re-enforced that reputation when they arrested 53 Ethiopian Christians involved in a private prayer service in the Saudi city of Dammam, shutting down the service and hauling the believers off to jail.
According to the World Evangelism Alliance, a total of 46 women and six men were arrested in the raid, and three of the Christians, identified as leaders of the private house church, were charged with trying to convert Muslims to the Christian faith.
In December 2011, the Saudi religious police, known as the mutaween, arrested 35 Ethiopian Christians, 29 of them women, on charges of â€śillicit minglingâ€ť after the authorities raided a private prayer meeting in Jeddah. According to Human Rights Watch, some of the Christians were...