Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Ethiopian Christians arrested at prayer ...

Email:

Ethiopian Christians arrested at prayer facing deportation from Saudi Arabia

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Ethiopian Christians arrested at prayer facing deportation from Saudi Arabia

Country/Region: Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Middle East and North Africa

A group of 35 Ethiopian Christians are facing deportation from Saudi Arabia for “illicit mingling” after they were arrested in a police raid on a private prayer meeting in one of their homes.

Jeddah-4x3.jpg
The Christians were arrested
at a house in Jeddah
Helmut Kunert / CC BY-ND 2.0

The 29 women and six men had gathered to pray at a house in Jeddah on 15 December when police burst in and detained them. The women were taken to Buraiman prison, where they were strip-searched and sexually abused. The men were held at a police station in Jeddah for two days before also being transferred to Buraiman prison. Officers kicked and beat the men and called them “unbelievers”.

Three members of the group reported their ordeal to Human Rights Watch via telephone from prison.

They complained of inadequate medical care and unsanitary conditions at the prison. One of the women is diabetic; she was given one injection in the prison clinic that caused swelling, and she has not been given further medical attention since.

Around ten days after their arrest, some of the Christians were taken to court, where they were made to put their fingerprints to a document without being allowed to read it.

They were told that they were being charged with “illicit mingling” of unmarried persons of the opposite sex, despite Saudi Arabia not having any law that defines this offence. The entire group now faces deportation.

Rights “trampled”

The Saudi government enforces an extreme and puritanical version of Islam, banning the public practice of all un-Islamic religions. In 2006, the government said that it would stop interfering with private worship by non-Muslims, but in reality the mutawaah (religious police) sometimes disrupt and raid private Christian meetings.

More than a million expatriate Christians are thought to be living in Saudi Arabia. There are very few indigenous Christians; all the country’s citizens must be Muslim and conversion to Christianity is punishable by death.

Human Rights Watch said that the Saudi Arabian authorities were “trampling on the rights of believers of other faiths” even while King Abdullah was setting up an international interfaith dialogue centre. The group added: “The Saudi government needs to change its own intolerant ways before it can promote religious dialogue abroad.”

Call to challenge persecution

Barnabas Fund has launched a new campaign, Proclaim Freedom, for 2012 calling on Western governments to put pressure on states such as Saudi Arabia that persecute or condone the persecution of Christians within their borders.

In a written “Confirmation of Policies” document the Saudi government sent to the US government, the former said it would “guarantee and protect the right to private worship for all, including non-Muslims who gather in homes for religious practice” and “ensure that members of the [religious police] do not detain or conduct investigations of suspects, implement punishment, [or] violate the sanctity of private homes”. The government also said it would investigate any infringements of these policies.

Will the United States and other Western governments now hold the Saudi government to account for the apparent violation of this commitment in the case of these Ethiopian Christians?

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Ethiopian Christians arrested at prayer facing deportation from Saudi Arabia

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon
  • Christians driven out of Maaloula by Islamist rebels long to return after its recapture by the Syrian army http://ow.ly/vTrgN Thu, Apr 2014 16:37

  • Islamic parties make unexpected gains in Indonesian elections http://ow.ly/vR60m Wed, Apr 2014 16:46

  • Former counter-terrorism chief to lead inquiry into alleged Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools http://ow.ly/vOn9I Tue, Apr 2014 17:01

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi's appeal hearing- set for today- deferred for third time in Pakistan http://ow.ly/vLEkf Mon, Apr 2014 16:03

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 18 hours ago

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

© Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks