Friday, May 4, 2018

Churches in Saudi Arabia?

Liberalization proceeds apace in Saudi Arabia. We have been following this story for some time now, so it is fitting that we report the latest step forward. The kingdom will now allow churches to be built within its borders. Can synagogues be far behind?

Breitbart reports:

The agreement was signed by the Secretary General of the Muslim World League Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdel Karim Al-Issa and the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue in the Vatican, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, according to a report Wednesday from the Egypt Independent newspaper.

The Financial Express has reported that Saudi Arabia’s newfound openness to and socio-cultural cooperation with the non-Muslim world stems from a desire to reduce dependency on oil resources, its primary economic driver.

Cardinal Tauran visited Riyadh on April 16-20, where he was received at the royal palace by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who acts as the country’s prime minister as well as the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and his son, the crown prince Muhammad bin Salman. Tauran and his delegation also visited the Center for the Fight against Extremist Thought, and met with the current Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh.

In his address to Saudi officials, Tauran made mention of the “hundreds of thousands of Christians in the Saudi Kingdom,” insisting that Pope Francis follows their situation “with close attention.” The cardinal also reiterated the Vatican position on the equal treatment of all citizens regardless of their religion, including those who do not profess any religion, and called for establishing a common basis for the construction of centers of worship.

Fruit of the cardinal’s visit was the joint agreement that provides for the building of churches to care for the needs of Christians in Saudi Arabia as well as underscoring the key role of religions in renouncing violence, extremism, terrorism and achieving security and stability in the world.

It’s good news, no matter how you look at it.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Amazed by this? Me?? Boy, HOWDY!!