Apparently the Saudi government has passed a new law that prescribes a death sentences for those ‘smuggling’ in Bibles or other non-Muslim or even non-Sunni religious literature into the Muslim kingdom.
For a long time it has been illegal to bring Bibles into Saudi Arabia. Usually customs agents have made some allowances for personal items of foreign workers, particularly educated and skilled workers coming in from Western countries. Meanwhile, no churches or Christian religious services are allowed in the country. Nevertheless, I have personally known some folks who did unofficially meet together for small Bible studies and prayer meetings in foreign conclaves.
In the recent past we have posted on a number of occasions that foreign workers have been caught and jailed for having Christian worship in their homes. Some have even been jailed by the Saudi religious police for celebrating Christmas.
Now it appears that the Muslim Kingdom is becoming even more draconian in their treatment of those bringing Bibles into the country. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:
… According to the HeartCry Missionary Society, the Saudi government issued an official statement signifying that capital punishment may now be used on those who smuggle Bibles into the desert nation, where the royal family upholds a strict Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam.
The society’s report added that the death penalty, which usually comes in the form of beheadings, can also be used against people who simply distribute the Bible and all other "publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam." This means that anyone handing out any kind of religious literature that is not of Islamic faith can legally be executed. …
Although the Saudi government is said to have released an "official statement", Saudi Arabia’s U.S. Embassy and Saudi sources at the United Nations have yet to comment or confirm the law. According to World Net Daily, the news source made three attempts to reach the Saudi Embassy’s press officer, but the officer has yet to reply.
Response: Saudi Arabia is consistently listed as one of the worst regimes when it comes to religious liberty and one of the most repressive when it comes to Christians.
There are reportedly over two million foreign Christian workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Bibles will continue to be brought in regardless of the law but unfortunately now people may die. Please pray that the Saudi officials will be temporarily blinded and not see the Bibles coming in. This actually worked for years when Christian smugglers were bringing in thousands of Bibles into Eastern Europe and Russia when the Communists ran things. *Top