18-Mar-08 - Saudis To Allow Construction of Catholic Church? [via EWTN]

Rome, Mar. 17 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican is negotiating with the government of Saudi Arabia to allow construction of a Catholic church in that country…

Full article…

It’s a step in the right direction but I hope the Saudis repel their oppressive laws the treat believers of religions other than Islams as non-persons, forbids conversions by any faith other than Islam, and the gross inequality between the treatment of Christians and muslims before the law.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

I thought this looked familiar:

Vatican discusses church in Saudi Arabia

While the Wahhabi terrorist are in charge there, it will never happen.

It remains to be seen for sure.

But how it would go is probably something like this.

The Saudi royals would allow permission for a small Church to be established within Riyadh’s diplomatic quarter, but with many restrictions. Such as no display of non-Islamic religious symbols or imagery on the Church building’s exterior other than a discreet letter only sign indicating its function, and no religious sounds would be allowed to eminate out from it at any time, such as bells or music. Any and all proslytization and evangelization by Catholics beyond Church walls would be strictly prohibited at all times, with of course Catholics being free to convert to Islam at any time or place.

This probably all hinges on the establishment of formal relations between the Holy See and Riyadh, where the Pope’s apostolic delegate would directly oversee the fuctions of the Church, and maybe even be its acting pastor.

We can only pray and hope…:cool:

From Daniel Pipes:

Mar. 20, 2008 update: If Anwar Ashiqi, identified as president of something called the “Saudi Centre for Middle East Strategic Studies,” has his way, there won’t be a church anytime soon in Saudi Arabia. He explained in an interview on Al-Arabiya television today:

I have taken part in several meetings related to Islamic-Christian dialogue and there have been negotiations on this issue. It would be possible to launch official negotiations to construct a church in Saudi Arabia only after the Pope and all the Christian churches recognise the prophet Mohammed. If they don’t recognise him as a prophet, how can we have a church in the Saudi kingdom?

Brilliant question – wonder why I had not thought of it myself.

Another negative Saudi reaction came from Abdelaziz al-Thinani, a member of the kingdom’s Consultative Council, who rejected Paul-Mounged El-Hashem’s statement (above) that “There are around three or four million Christians in Saudi Arabia.” Thinani retorted that there are no Christian Saudis, all of whom are Muslims, and “Those few Christians [in the kingdom] do not reside in the country permanently, [but] they come and go.” Further, he sees no connection between human rights and the construction of a church.


Islam never fails to live up to one’s expectations.

Or down


Remember charity, folks… we owe it to everyone, even those of a religion with which we disagree.

It is not charity to let someone continue in sin without pointing it out to them.

Perhaps the Saudis are taking their cue from the Qataris:


As far as I know, the Qataris are adherents of the Wahhabi sect, too. In the interests of acknowledging Muslim and Arab tolerance where it occurs, I just want to quote from a letter in today’s Irish Times. The correspondent says he has lived in Qatar and has this to say about the situation there and in the region:

"Qatar enjoys a generous form of welfare with beautiful housing and strict control of food prices. In contrast to Saudi Arabia, non-Muslim expatriates are entitled to a generous ration of alcohol, and jewellery shops display gold crosses, medallions and pendants of Christ and the Virgin Mary.

…It should also be recognised that the magnificent Catholic, Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches in Kuwait were all built at state expense.

When the oil started to flow in Abu Dhabi [United Arab Emirates] in the 1960s, the late Sheik Zaqbut not only built a Catholic church but also requested that he should attend the opening ceremony".

It is not charity to let someone continue in sin without pointing it out to them.

If the Magesterium is correct, Muslims are not necessarily sinning by being Muslims.

Perhaps, but no one was receiving fraternal correction in this thread.

There is no justification for random religion bashing.

I was talking about the Saudis and their refusal to allow any display of religion other than Islam in their country. This was in response to Dale_M’s reminder to be charitable. I don’t believe it is charitable to allow the Saudis to continue in this sin. Sorry if I was not clear.

The gulf ministates totally owe their initial and continued existence to the West. Totally. It is not greatly surprising that they go out of their way to placate the sensitivites of the West. A comparison might be made to the good treatment given to Jews during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. They were under irresistable Western pressure to do it.

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