Not stand by while the Christians of the Middle East are being attacked.
Pray the protection of Psalm 91 over my brothers and sisters facing dangerous circumstances around the world.
An estimated 1.2 million Christians live in Saudi Arabia, but most of these believers are migrants from other countries. By law, all Saudi citizens are considered Muslim. The Islamic government rules by strict Sharia law under which conversion from Islam is punishable by execution and churches are outlawed. In addition to government persecution, Christian converts are often the victims of “honor killings” by angry family members. In 2006, the government promised to allow Christians the freedom to worship privately in their homes but that promise has not been kept.
Despite intense persecution, the internet has made it easier for Saudi nationals to learn about Christianity and connect with believers in other countries. No one knows how many Christian converts exist in Saudi Arabia because it is too dangerous for them to reveal themselves, but missionaries and nonprofit organizations say that the number of underground believers is growing with the help of online evangelism.
One man, known only as Mohammed, came to faith after searching for spiritual truth online. Disillusioned and dissatisfied with what he’d been taught about Islam, Mohammed was captivated by what he read about the loving God of the Bible. He tried to visit churches in other Middle Eastern countries, but was not allowed to enter the buildings because of laws against evangelism to Muslims. But through the internet, Mohammed finally connected with other Middle Eastern Christians who welcomed him to their congregation and baptized him into his new faith.
Mohammed soon had to return to Saudi Arabia, but he was able to smuggle a Bible back into the country with him. He has had to keep his new faith a secret from even his wife and children, because they might turn him in to the religious police or alert family members who would kill him.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ and the holiday season, we must remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia who are risking their lives to follow Jesus. They live in one of the cruelest and most dangerous parts of the world, and they need our support not just today but all year round.
- For the safety of Mohammed and all other secret believers in Saudi Arabia.
- For Saudi Arabia’s government to change the law and stop persecuting Christians.
- For the Christians in Saudi Arabia to have courage and hope despite the danger.