Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Gulf Peninsula and the place where Islam was born in the seventh century. Shari'a law is in place and strictly interpreted.
Before Islam arrived, Saudi Arabia had one of the largest Christian communities. Today, Christians are not allowed to meet, and sharing the Christian faith is forbidden. The police exert pressure on people who are, or who become, Christian. Officially there is no church in Saudi Arabia. Yet in spite of the opposition, there are some committed Christians in this country, amongst both expatriates and nationals, even amongst the royal family!
D, a young Saudi, once appeared by the doorstep of a church in the Gulf region. He told the pastor that he had started some research in the Qur'an and the prophetic tradition. Fascinated by what was said of Jesus, he went to see the religious authorities for more information on Jesus' life. The authorities told him to look 'in the Qur'an only'. So, after researching Christian places of worship on the internet, he visited a neighbouring country. He spent a week there to read and study books on the Christian faith and Jesus' life. After that he decided to go back to his country, carrying the books in his suitcase.
Give thanks that stories like this are not unique. They do, however, reflect the reality of life for millions of students who do not have the freedom to think and believe for themselves. They also remind us that faith has no barriers and the Spirit of God is at work.
Please pray for:
- opportunities for students to hear the truth of the gospel;
- perseverance for believing students to go on living for Christ wherever God calls them.