Barnabas Aid - 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 .
Saudi’s grand mufti calls for destructio...

Email:

Saudi’s grand mufti calls for destruction of all churches in Arabian Peninsula

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

Saudi’s grand mufti calls for destruction of all churches in Arabian Peninsula

Country/Region: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Middle East and North Africa

One of Islam’s most influential spiritual leaders has called for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula, sparking alarm for the region’s vulnerable Christian minority.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, declared on 12 March that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region”. His statement came in response to a query from Kuwait about proposed legislation to prevent the construction of churches in that country.

Church-of-Kuwait_4X3.jpg
A church in Kuwait
Bashar Al-Ba'noon / CC BY-SA 2.0

The ruling is in accordance with sharia; it is based on a hadith in which Muhammad on his deathbed declared, “There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula”.

Churches have always been banned in Saudi Arabia, but they do exist in other Arabian lands, albeit subject to severe restrictions. The grand mufti’s statement not only justifies the destruction of churches in the region but requires it. He is the president of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and chairman of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas. Ironically, Saudi Arabia has recently partnered with Austria on an institute of tolerance.

There has been no condemnation of the grand mufti’s pronouncement by Saudi Arabia’s Western allies. The Washington Times wrote on 16 March:

If the pope called for the destruction of all the mosques in Europe, the uproar would be cataclysmic. Pundits would lambaste the church, the White House would rush out a statement of deep concern, and rioters in the Middle East would kill each other in their grief. But when the most influential leader in the Muslim world issues a fatwa to destroy Christian churches, the silence is deafening.

The declaration comes as Christians in the Middle East are under intensifying pressure as a result of the Arab Spring, which has resulted in increased political influence for Islamist groups

It was triggered after Kuwaiti MP Osama Al-Munawer said last month that he plans to submit a draft law calling for the removal of all churches in the country. He later explained that existing churches should remain but that the construction of new non-Islamic places of worship should be banned.

The population of Kuwait is around 82% Muslim, and Sunni Islam is the state religion. Christians comprise almost six per cent of the population and Buddhists eight per cent. There are few official meeting places for Christians, and much of the Church is “underground”. But it is growing both numerically and in maturity; more believers are now gathering and witnessing openly.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Saudi’s grand mufti calls for destruction of all churches in Arabian Peninsula

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

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Pray for eight Cameroonian missionaries who have been harshly reminded of the cost of sharing the Gospel in their country during a training seminar to equip them for ministry. Barnabas had helped to fund a series of seminars, and on the final day of the last seminar they heard that Jean-Marcel Kesvere, another Cameroonian missionary, who had been planning to attend the seminar with his wife, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and that his body had been found earlier that day. Give thanks for the response of the missionaries, who expressed their willingness to suffer similarly for Christ, and pray that their work will bear much fruit (John 12:24). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 4 hours ago

    • Please pray for Christians in northern Cameroon, where Boko Haram is terrorising people, especially Christians and security forces, just as in neighbouring Nigeria. The Islamist militants openly declare themselves to be Boko Haram, and issue threats by letter, including to pastors telling them they must leave. Two pastors were killed in the village of Assigashia on the night of 25-26 August, hich has caused great distress and consternation. The Cameroonian Christians ask for prayer that God will bring peace and security, that the kidnapped will be released, that believers will stand firm despite being targeted, that God will comfort the traumatised, and that church leaders will know how to prepare their people for persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Aid in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Heavenly Father, we pray to You for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Madagali, in Adamawa state, until their town was seized by Boko Haram two months ago. We think of those who were betrayed into the hands of Boko Haram by their neighbours pointing out Christian homes or places where Christians had hidden. We bring before You those who saw their menfolk beheaded, and women forcibly converted to Islam. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for a pastor in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania whose home was attacked on 17 May; two of his children were injured. When he went to report the incident to the police, he was falsely accused of raping a young woman who had left Islam to follow Christ. The pastor had taken her into his home, along with four other converts, after she was thrown out by her family; it was they who made the accusation against him. He has faced much opposition because of his fruitful outreach to Muslims, and several failed attempts have been made to frame him with false accusations. Pray that the sovereign Lord will help him and that he will not be disgraced (Isaiah 50:7-9). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark