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Friday, March 23, 2012

Europe bishops slam Saudi fatwa against Gulf churches

This is an issue that nobody wants to address - the lack of religious liberty in the Arab Muslim world is appalling and religious tolerance is practically non-existent. In Saudi Arabia, all religions are banned except Islam.
Christian bishops in Germany, Austria and Russia have sharply criticised Saudi Arabia's top religious official after reports that he issued a fatwa saying all churches on the Arabian Peninsula should be destroyed....Christian websites have reported Sheikh Abdulaziz, one of the most influential religious leaders in the Muslim world, issued the fatwa last week in response to a Kuwaiti lawmaker who asked if Kuwait could ban church construction in Kuwait. Citing Arab-language media reports, they say the sheikh ruled that further church building should be banned and existing Christian houses of worship should be destroyed....At least 3.5 million Christians live in the Gulf Arab region. They are mostly Catholic workers from India and the Philippines, but also Western expatriates of all denominations. Saudi Arabia bans all non-Muslim houses of prayer, forcing Christians there to risk arrest by praying in private homes. There are churches for Christian minorities in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. The bishops conference in Austria, where Saudi King Abdullah plans to open a controversial centre for interfaith dialogue, demanded an official explanation from Riyadh.
Read the rest here
Yahoo! News 

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