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Country rank   13
Last year’s rank   11
Region   Middle East
Population   35 845 000
Christians   2 165 000
Main Religion   Islam

13Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a highly conservative Islamic nation and other religions cannot be practised openly. No official churches of any Christian denomination are allowed and it remains one of the few countries in the world where church buildings are forbidden.

Most Christians in Saudi Arabia are migrant workers from Asia and Africa. They are often exploited and poorly paid, and face discrimination because of their ethnicity, but also because of their Christian faith. There are also Christians from other parts of the world. Foreign Christians are severely restricted in sharing their Christian faith and in gathering for public worship. Those who do so risk detention and deportation.

There are also a small number of Saudi Christian converts. Conversion from Islam to Christianity is unacceptable under Islamic law, so many live as secret believers. Those whose faith is discovered face severe pressure, especially from their families. Despite the risks, the small number of Saudi Christians is slowly increasing and some are boldly sharing their Christian faith on the internet and Christian satellite TV channels.

Meet “Adam”

“We thank God for His gifts, and for your standing with us and helping me to safety. I feel that today I can live again.”

Adam, a believer who fled Saudi Arabia after being imprisoned for his faith


Please pray

  • That secret believers who are isolated will find ways to connect with other believers online.
  • For greater gender equality in Saudi Arabia and an end to the oppressive treatment of women.
  • Thank God for the courage of believers who are sharing their faith. Pray that God will continue to build His Church through their witness.

How does Open Doors support our family in Saudi Arabia?

Open Doors supports the Body of Christ on the Arabian Peninsula by organising prayer, distributing Scripture resources, and training believers and pastors.

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