(Hat Tip LGF)
The Saudi daily Al-Jazirah reported that 40 men, women, and children with Pakistani citizenship were arrested on April 21, 2005 after performing Christian religious rites in an apartment in the Thaharat Al-Badi'a neighborhood in western Riyadh. The arrest was part of a sweeping police operation by the Riyadh District Police, at the order of Riyadh Governor Prince Salman bin Abd Al-'Aziz.
The paper reported that the operation came after Saudi religious police known as the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice followed and collected information on the activity of the 40, who listened to a proselytizing lecture by a Pakistani minister.
So am I mad or what? Obviously I disapprove of Muslim religious police coming down on the Christians. I know that in many Muslim nations these people would have just "vanished" and would have never been heard from again. I applaud the courage of these men and women who at the risk of their freedom and their very lives practice Christianity in a heathen nation.
As American Christians we often take it for granted that we can get up Sunday morning and go to the church of our choice to study the Word of God without fear of losing our property or freedom. How many would continue to do so if the persecution that these people face was rampant in our land? In that respect I can praise these people.
However; later in the article it mentions
The Saudi daily Al-Riyadh said that the detainees had set up a church in the apartment, equipped with crosses, pictures, and statues. Likewise, it was said that during their religious activity, one of them was found praying, as the others present repeated their words, and one of the women arrested was listing the people's confessions and distributing writs of absolution. The Al-Riyadh report included a photo of the detainees and of a large cross and the group which was arrested.
So what form of Christianity were they practicing? Since I don't know all the details I will refrain from making judgment. Not because I believe all forms of Christianity are valid. I don't. But because I don't know for sure if the official report from the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice can be trusted to provide accurate details. Remember, Saudi Arabia is our "ally". But they have made no effort to hide their total disdain for America and especially Christianity. I hope that these 40 individuals know Christ in Truth. It would be a shame for them to suffer this persecution over a counterfeit savior.