It might surprise some American Christians to find out that our long-time ally Saudi Arabia makes the list of the top 50 persecuting countries. If that is a surprise, then finding out that Saudi Arabia rounds out the top three (with North Korea and Iran above them) will really bake your noodle. Just to further pound that home, Voice of the Martyrs website lists Saudi Arabia as 2nd!
Ironically, despite the heavy persecution in Saudi Arabia, a higher percentage of the country claims Christianity than even some free countries, like Japan (4.5% vs 2%). However, this number is slightly distorted, as many of that 4.5% is due to foreigners living in the country, according to Open Doors USA. For the most part, they are allowed to worship privately, although some have been threatened. Converting to Christianity from Islam, however, is insanely difficult and life-threatening.
In one article, a father cut off his daughter's tongue and killed her for converting to Christianity. I couldn't find anything that said this man was punished for the act.
So I've been calling for the fall of Iran and North Korea lately, mostly due to the issue of the persecuted church. now what? Even I have trouble thinking of Saudi Arabia as an evil country...yet the people and the government are persecuting believers enough to be ranked in the top three persecuting countries!
Today, if for not other day, please pray that God will change Saudi Arabia. Maybe even throughout the week. Even if they are our primary oil source, we must pray that the country changes.
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