Christians in Saudi are asking us to pray for:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a rich history steeped in desert culture. For thousands of years, the Saudis have thrived in the heat and expanse of the Saudi desert. That desert life was forever altered about 70 years ago when 25% of the world’s oil reserves were found beneath the sand. This oil has allowed the Saud family to rule the country through the years.
Mecca is located in Saudi Arabia. Its importance for Muslims dates back to the year 570 when the prophet Mohammed (the founder of Islam) was born there. Muslims worldwide are commanded to face Mecca five times a day to pray toward the spiritual center of Islam. They pray acknowledging there is only one God and Mohammed is his prophet. One of the key tenets of Islam is a pilgrimage, the Hajj, to Mecca at least once in a Muslim’s life. Approximately two million Muslims from Saudi Arabia and around the world arrive there annually for the Hajj.
As the homeland of Islam, anything that affects Saudi Arabia potentially affects the whole of the Muslim world. In the past, the Saudi family had succeeded in recycling the oil wealth through the economy to please the masses, providing a comfortable life for most. Since the Gulf War, the amount of money siphoned off the economy by the ruling family has increased while normal people are finding themselves less and less advantaged as their population swells. This is a slow boiling pot politically which could explode at some point in the future.
The Saudi population is, by government statistics, 100% Muslim. There are few local Christians among the Saudis. While there are many foreign Christians living and working in Saudi Arabia, churches for them are not officially permitted. The Saudi government is also known to be a generous contributor to the propagation of Islam around the world. Despite this, many Saudis are very approachable on the topic of religion. Many Saudis travel internationally, and it is quite easy to speak to them about Christ, especially when they are away from their homeland.