(WSJ) Nina Shea–President Obama and the Churches of Saudi Arabia

When President Obama visits Saudi Arabia next week, he will have an opportunity to follow through on his inspiring words at the Feb. 6. National Prayer Breakfast. There, he told thousands of Christian leaders that “the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose” is central to “human dignity,” and so “promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.”

The freedom so central to human dignity is denied by the Kingdom. The State Department has long ranked Saudi Arabia among the world’s most religiously repressive governments, designating it a “Country of Particular Concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act. Yet the Obama administration, like its predecessors, has not pressed Riyadh to respect religious freedom.

Saudi Arabia is the only state in the world to ban all churches and any other non-Muslim houses of worship. While Saudi nationals are all “officially” Muslim, some two to three million foreign Christians live in the kingdom, many for decades. They have no rights to practice their faith.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Saudi Arabia, Theology

2 comments on “(WSJ) Nina Shea–President Obama and the Churches of Saudi Arabia

  1. Jeff Walton says:

    It is absurd that so many foreign workers that provide essential services for Saudi Arabia are not allowed to freely worship. Breaking up small house church gatherings is purposefully spiteful. Kudos to Nina Shea for asking the President to use his influence.

  2. Nikolaus says:

    The True God does not need His followers to bar other religions. He knows that His truth will win out in the end and that others gods will be shown to be false.