Christian Council condemns Saudi Grand Mufti Call For Destruction Of Churches In West Asia

Saudi Aribia Grand Mufti

NEW DELHI, (John Dayal) — The All India Christian Council has condemned the call by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”

Christian Council President Dr Joseph D’ Souza, said the Mufti’s controversial statement placed Christian churches throughout the Arabian peninsula in jeopardy and could have repercussions for religious minorities in other countries.

Council secretary General Dr John Dayal called upon the government of India and other civilised countries to use their good offices to ensure that the nations in the Arabian peninsula rebuffed the Wahabi Imam’s bigoted statement, and assured the safety and security of churches in the Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. Christianity is already forbidden in Saudi Arabia which has no churches.

West Asian media had reported the controversial statement in the context of another statement by a Kuwaiti member of parliament who reportedly called for the ‘removal’ of churches in his country. Legislation was also recently introduced inKuwait’s parliament that would mandate the removal of Christian churches from the country and impose strict  Shariah laws. Kuwait has later clarified the legislation would not remove the churches, but prohibit further construction of Christian churches and non-Muslim places of worship in the country. The Saudi Grand Mufti  emphasized that because Kuwait is part of the Arabian Peninsula, it would be necessary to destroy all churches in the country. There are a large number of Christians living in Saudi Arabia and the other countries of the Arabian gulf,  many of them from India and the Philippines, with their population estimated at over 3.5 million, over 800,000 of them in Saudi Arabia alone.

AICC Secy General Dr John Dayal

The All India Christian Council has been following developments in the region with growing alarm and concern as Christians continue to be coerced and harassed at various times. It is particularly disturbing because India has a large number of its citizens, mostly labour but also businessmen, engineers and medical personnel, in the region. A large number of migrant from the  states of South India are Christians.

The All India Christian Council  said the Mufti’s statement flew in the face of the United Nations Charter and the UN Declaration On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Intolerance And Of Discrimination Based On Religion Or Belief.

Released for Publication by Dr John Dayal.  For further information, please contact at +919811021072


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One response to “Christian Council condemns Saudi Grand Mufti Call For Destruction Of Churches In West Asia

  1. K.C. Paul

    Speaking to an Indian teacher based in the Persian Gulf Emirates for almost 30 years now, he cites the visible and sometimes menacing presence of aggressive Christianity which could be the reason for the ensuing fatwa.
    He says, “Last month (February 2012) there was news that 30 plus Ehiopian Christian women who were caught worshiping in Saudi and were deported.
    He says throwing further light, “Every week I see their worship pattern… they are very vigorous and noisy to the ears of others… so much so in Sharjah the police ordered them to be quite!”
    He further cited the situation of Christian presence in the Persian Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
    Citing seven instances, he began with the newly built Russian Orthodox church in Sharjah which displays a large Cross atop the Church.
    Sharjah is actually controlled by Saudi Sheikhs!
    Again, last month, he notes, the Anglicans opened a brand new Church in Ras Al Khaima built in the pattern of a Cross.
    Earlier in the year, the celebrated Praise & Worship Artist Don Moen and a Korean pastor had a big worship programme in Abu Dhabi. Incidentally, the UAE Education Minister and his council attended the full programme.
    Further, last Friday Don Moen had again a full house Worship programme in Dubai Stadium. Earlier, Paul Wilbur, an integrity music artist, too had similar programme in the same open stadium.
    Another Protestant group has Gilgal Biblical College fully functioning openly set up in Abu Dhabi and offering regular classes in the other Emirates.
    He adds, “A number of people known to me are doing 3 year MA in Theology / Scripture paying almost INR 2000/ per class.
    It is also reported that the Anglicans will soon start construction of their new Church in Sharjah.

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