The Grinch stole Christmas in Saudi Arabia

 

Saudi religious police stormed a house in the Saudi Arabian province of al-Jouf, detaining more than 41 guests for “plotting to celebrate Christmas,” a statement from the police branch released Wednesday night said.
 
The raid is the latest in a string of religious crackdowns against residents perceived to threaten the country’s strict religious code.
 
Only in Saudi Arabia could the phrase “plotting to celebrate Christmas” appear in official statement. Religious freedom does not exist in the kingdom. There are literally millions of Christians living there, and according to the government they are permitted to practice their religion in private– though not one single church is permitted. But as this news story shows, in fact the religious police do not permit such dangerous practices as a Christmas party. So the foreigners living there who are Christians will continue to be without churches, priests and ministers, sacraments– or Christmas parties.
 
King Abdallah has chaired several international conferences on religion in the last ten years and has just established the “King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue,” a world center for inter-religious dialogue in Vienna.
 
What does this all amount to? In 2008 the King opened the first conference with these reported remarks:
 
“We all believe in one God… We are meeting here today to say that religions should be a means to iron out differences and not to lead to disputes,” he said in an inaugural speech at the three-day World Conference on Dialogue. He called for a “constructive dialogue to open a new page to reconciliation after so many disputes.” ”Most of the dialogue (between religions) has ended in failure…,” King Abdullah said in the speech, delivered in Arabic. “To succeed we must emphasize the common link between us which a belief in God.”
 
Fine sentiments–but until the Saudi government stops arresting people for “plotting to celebrate Christmas” they cannot be taken seriously.
 
Elliott Abrams writes for CFR, from where this article was adapted.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.

Comments

Ebola aid workers hacked to death in Guinea

A group from the United States, along with journalists and local Guinean officials, were chased down and hacked to death by people in Guinea. A rumor had spread that the aid workers were deliberately infecting Guineans with Ebola.

Book review: Gospel of the Family: Going Beyond Cardinal Kaspers Proposal in the Debate on Marriage, Civil Re-Marriage, and Communion in the Church

As the Catholic Church is about to review marriage practices at an upcoming synod, here is a book that has come at the right time.

Archeologists excavate prison made famous in Count of Monte Cristo

The soil beneath Chateau d'If has never been excavated.

Ebola aid workers hacked to death in Guinea

A group from the United States, along with journalists and local Guinean officials, were chased down and hacked to death by people in Guinea. A rumor had spread that the aid workers were deliberately infecting Guineans with Ebola.

Muslim religious leader refutes Obama's reading of Islam

Imam Anjem Choudary refuted Obama by saying that the Koran teaches 'terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam.' Killing innocents is okay with Choudary.

This page took 0.1289seconds to load