‘Saudis want new image for country’: Teams up with the Vatican to build churches in Saudi Arabia

RT–Saudi Arabia will no longer be the only Gulf state with no public Christian places of worship, after an agreement was signed between local Wahhabi leaders and a Vatican cardinal to establish a cooperative relationship.

“This is the beginning of a rapprochement… It is a sign that the Saudi authorities are now ready to give a new image to the country,” one of the most senior Catholic officials, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, told the Vatican News website after returning from Riyadh.

Tauran was in Saudi Arabia for a week in the middle of last month, in a visit that was widely covered by local media, and mostly ignored by the English-language press. He met with the de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and with multiple spiritual leaders.

The final accord signed between Tauran and Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdel Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, a leading Wahhabi NGO, paves the way not only for building projects, but has outlined plans for Muslim-Christian summits once every two years and for greater rights for non-Islamic worshippers in the Gulf kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has a reputation as one of the most religiously intolerant regimes in the world. Non-Muslims are punished for any displays of their religion outside of their homes, while any Muslim who decides to convert to another faith is subject to a death sentence for apostasy. Islamic religious law is imposed uniformly on all those resident in the oil-rich state, regardless of beliefs, while a dedicated religious police oversees compliance.

Nonetheless, there has been an influx of migrant workers to the kingdom in the past decades, and more than 1.5 million Christians are thought to be in the country, mostly from the Philippines.

Attempts to negotiate a more visible status for Christianity by the Vatican date back years and, in 2008, it also announced a potentially “historic” agreement to construct the first modern-day church, a plan that was eventually shelved.

But the possibility of at least a cosmetic display of tolerance appears more likely in the reign of the image-conscious Mohammed bin Salman, who has already abandoned several landmark customs, such as those forbidding women from driving, or requiring them to be under the constant supervision of their guardians.

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One Reply to “‘Saudis want new image for country’: Teams up with the Vatican to build churches in Saudi Arabia”

  1. Seeing how the Vatican created Islam (How the Vatican Created Islam), this story makes TOTAL sense.
    In Revelation 9, the word “locust” in the original manuscripts is “Arraba,” the same as Saudi Arabia.
    Saudi IS the Locust Army of Turbans that strike against ALL Christian Nations (yes, even America).

    Folks, people are waking up in a major way. Lately, we saw NoKo give up its nuclear program for “peace and safety.”
    In 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 5, verse 3: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them…….”

    It is the people waking up that has caused a “change of heart” (and plans). NOKO was exposed for what it is….a movie set. Stupid Jung-Un forgot to have “extra’s” in the stores while they were being filmed for the entire world to see how modern North Korea wants you TO THINK it is.

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