Saudi Arabia Detains Internet Writer For Becoming Christian

Christian Persecution Info » Christian Persecution » Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Saudi Arabia Detains Internet Writer For Becoming Christian

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

By Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Chief International Correspondent

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (Worthy News) --  A young Internet writer in Saudi Arabia was in life danger Wednesday, January 28, after he was detained by authorities for announcing on his blog that he converted from Islam to Christianity, religious human rights investigators said.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said Hamoud Bin Saleh was arrested January 13 and officials blocked access to his Website ( http://christforsaudi.blogspot.com ) due to his opinions and announcement that he had become a Christian.

The 28-year-old graduate in English literature from the Al Yarmouk University in Jordan, was moved to "the infamous Eleisha political prison" in the capital Riyadh, a facility where several other dissidents have been jailed in recent years, ANHRI said in a statement.

His detention came five months after the daughter of a member of the feared he religious police or Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was reportedly killed for disclosing her Christian faith.

Fatima Al-Mutairi, 26, revealed on Web postings that she had left Islam to become a Christian, Arabic media reported. Her father allegedly cut out her tongue and burned her to death "following a heated debate on religion."

FAMILY HOSTILITIES

Al-Mutairi had apparently written about hostilities from family members after they discovered she was a Christian, including insults from her brother after he saw her Web postings about her faith.

However some reports suggested her brother was the one who killed her.  ANHRI said it fears that Saleh may be killed as well. "The entire world is busy following up the aggression on Gaza and the Saudi authorities may seize the chance to make him an example with nobody watching," the group added.

Saleh was reportedly detained twice before because of his writing, including nine months in 2004 and last year. A 2003 graduate in English literature from Al Yarmouk University in Jordan, Bin Saleh's told his readers that his research led him to an exploration of other faiths, and in his travels he gained access to a Bible.

"My mind was persistently raising questions and desperately seeking answers," he wrote in comments monitored by Christian news agency Compass Direct News. "I went on vacations to read about comparative religion, and I got the Bible, and I used to give these books to anyone before going back to Saudi, as going back there with such books is considered an unforgivable crime which will throw its perpetrator in a dark jail."

JESUS' FORGIVENESS

After reading how Jesus forgave – rather than stoned – a woman condemned for adultery, Bin Saleh said he eventually received Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

"Jesus . . . took us beyond physical salvation as he offered us forgiveness that is the salvation of eternal life and compassion," he added.

"Just look and ask for the light of God; there might be no available books to help you make a comparative study between the teachings of Muhammad (which are in my opinion a series of political, social, economical and human disasters) and the teaching of Jesus in Saudi Arabia, but there are many resources on the Web by which you might get to the bosom/arms of the Father of salvation. Seek salvation and you will reach it; may the Lord keep you from the devil’s pitfalls."

ANHRI said it was upset that Saudi Arabia, which recently sponsored an international interfaith conference, jailed the young man for sharing his opinions. "The young man committed no crime and the only thing he has done is exercising his normal right to express his opinions and beliefs, which must not be violated under whatever pretext," the group said.

SAUDI KING

The Saudi government, "must meet its commitments and the Saudi king's statements about the respect of freedom of expression and religious tolerance," ANHRI stressed.

His detention comes about a year after Fouad Ahmad al-Farhan became the first Saudi known to be arrested for Web site postings in December, 2007. He was released in April 2008.

Saudi officials had no comment. However Saudi Arabia prohibits the public practice of any religion other than Islam within its borders. Under the previous administration of President George W. Bush it was named a "country of particular concern" for alleged severe religious rights violations.

Observers say the situation is forcing up to three million Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and other expatriate workers to leave their convictions at the border, since non-Muslim places of worship are prohibited. In addition, non-Muslim religious materials, including Bibles, risk confiscation, and even private worship is affected by the legislation, according to rights groups and local Christians.

Christian Persecution Info » Christian Persecution » Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Saudi Arabia Detains Internet Writer For Becoming Christian

14 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia Detains Internet Writer For Becoming Christian

  1. Praying!

    Save Now LORD

    "And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them."
    Ezekiel 39:21

  2. Pray that God does enter Saudi Arabia in a big, big way. I believe anything is possible. I read & witness many muslims are coming to Christ, but at a cost that will involve their lives as well. I know Jesus is visiting islamic nations in the very homes, offices, public buses and places of muslims. In Joel 2:28-29 it reads, "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days."
    Jesus is turning up unexpectedly in day-to-day arab lives and leaving them changed forever...How? because believers are praying for them and interceding on their behalf. Are you thirsty for souls, that might be won for Christ? We need an army of millions, to pray and pray until Abba's work is complete, in Jesus' name. Is anyone out there ready and willing to sacrifice some of their time to prayer. Please do and you will be blessed!

  3. They talk and brag that their "peaceful" religion teaches that there's no compulsion in religion.
    Now look at their reactions to Hamoud Bin Saleh and Fatima Al-Mutairi (murdered by her own flesh & blood) simply because they received Jesus as their Lord & Saviour.

    I pray that the Lord God of the Bible will always protect and strengthen brother Hamoud in difficult and trying times like this. I also pray that the the entire Muslim world will soon be able to see the truth and light in Jesus, their only hope for salvation and eternal life.

  4. I tried to log onto the blog, and received this message from e Blogger,

    This blog is under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations and is open to authors only
    http://christforsaudi.blogspot.com/
    It doesn't look like you are an author of this blog.

    Do the Saudis control e Blogger, too? If they do, then I will cancel my blog there.

  5. May the One and Only Savior of the universe, Jesus Christ (Isa El Masih) visit and strengthen our brother Hamoud there in the prison in Riyadh. I will be lifting him up before our Father with heartfelt prayer.

    What are we really expecting from the Saudis anyway? Open mindedness and some kind of freedom of religion? This is how Islam works in countries that are heavily Islamicized. Can you imagine what would happen in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Pakistan if there was real freedom of religion? How many Muslems who are at least a little curious about the Bible would do what Hamoud did? Too many. It would probably be alarming to the Islamic authorities in those countries. So the answer is to use a heavy-handed religious control over society.

    Hopefully, Hamoud's blog was read by many Islamic eyes and hearts. There's a more detailed story on Compass Direct about Hamoud.

    Ya' know, Matthew 10:32-39 is so important. It shows us in the western world what life is like for a lot of our brothers and sisters, especialloy in Islamic-dominated countries.

    As far as Fatima Al-Mutairi's death as noted in the story; it reminds me about what Jesus said about himself in John 11:24 about a kernel of wheat.

    Many of our precious brothers and sisters have been shamed by their families and even given their lives because they came over to Jesus willfully. And we (The Church) are stronger because of it.

    On a side note: Does anyone have any e-mail addresses for the Saudi government officials inside Saudi Arabia? It would be good to let them know we're watching this case with Hamoud Bin Saleh.
    And a call or e-mail to the Saudi ambassador's office to the US wouldn't hurt either.

  6. Once you know the truth, u cant back away from it. Islam is the only true religion, so if u denounce it and start calling your God as your father who has cousins and aunts, then you know your screwing yourself up. Joining the truth and then joining the lies will make you a possible candidate for punishment. There can only be one God, one creator who not a father but our supreme creator. There is one God and Mohammed is his messenger.

    • Quote: "Once you know the truth, u cant back away from it. Islam is the only true religion, so if u denounce it and start calling your God as your father who has cousins and aunts, then you know your screwing yourself up."
      ------------------------------

      I wonder how could one find the "truth" by worshipping the lifeless, black cubical stone five times a day???!!!

      (Luke 11:13) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

    • Mohammed will bow before the Lord Jesus Christ on the day of judgment Zorkor. The God of creation has placed His seal of approval on Jesus in HIs resurrection from the dead. That is how we KNOW He is who he said He is. Mohammed's body decays in the grave waiting judgment, that's how WE KNOW he isn't who he said he was. Mohammed was deceived by the evil one, a liar, and a murderer from the beginning, he will lead all those that worship him down the broad road that leads to destruction. That is why the quaran HAS to make a provision for deceit to advance Islam. Because there is no truth in it. Christians are forbidden to lie, because we are children of the Truth, and the Truth is sufficient. The Truth IS a person, The Truth, the Way, and the LIfe. His name is Jesus the Christ. Mohammed never knew Him, but it's not too late for you Zorkor.

  7. May Good Lord bless him and comfert him through the Holy Spirt. One thing i know for sure, that
    Jesus going to be mercyful to the muslims at the end. These are the end days , so i believe this
    brother is one of them who recieve that mercy from the redemer Lord Jesus Chrits. Lets pray for
    our other brothers and sisters in Islam, so they also may get saved through the blood of our JESUS.

  8. I found an e-mail address to the Saudi American Embassy for those who desire to intercede on behalf of our Christian brother requesting the King to honor his commitment as specified here: Last November Arab News Editor in Chief Khaled Almaenna writing about the historic meeting between King Abdullah and Pope Benedict XVI noted, “King Abdullah emphasized that dialogue between religions and cultures was essential in order to promote tolerance, get rid of violence and achieve peace and security for all peoples.” The latest development in Abdullah’s commitment to that cause is the convening of an interfaith dialogue conference set for July 16 in Madrid which will include delegates who represent the Islamic, Christian and Jewish faiths.

    USEmbRiyadhWebSite@state.gov

    To write a letter:From the United States:
    American Embassy
    Unit 61307
    APO AE 09803

Leave a Comment

Christian Persecution Info » Christian Persecution » Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Saudi Arabia Detains Internet Writer For Becoming Christian