OVERVIEW: The birthplace of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad is home to some of Islam’s wealthiest and most devoted followers. However, in the past decade, some of the population has developed a mistrust of Islam and its leaders. TV programs and websites targeting Saudi audiences, as well as social media, travel abroad and exposure to faithful Christians outside and inside the country, have introduced Christ to many. Numerous Saudis have taken what they have learned and compared it side by side with Islam, resulting in some feeling deceived by and extremely disappointed in Islam. Therefore, Saudis are more open to the gospel now than ever before. Many are laboring to reach locals, but many more workers are needed.
MAJOR RELIGIONS: The majority of the population is Sunni Muslim, with a small population of Shiites.
PERSECUTOR: Families, the government and society at large persecute Christians.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN IN SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians. Non-Muslims cannot be granted Saudi citizenship, and non-Islamic places of worship are not permitted. One church is allowed, but it is exclusively for foreigners. Christians are more likely to be killed by a family member than to be imprisoned.
ACCESS TO BIBLES: It is illegal to possess a Bible, and the risk of being caught with one deters most believers from trying to obtain a printed copy. However, many Saudis are accessing the Scriptures online and through various technologies.
VOM WORK: VOM helps seekers who express an interest in Christianity through various media and provides aid for some Christian converts from Islam.