Monday, May 4, 2009

Demands to allow Christian proselytizing in Saudi Arabia only further religious divisions

Whenever I write about Islam and urge Muslims and non-Muslims set aside their difference and promote their similarities I inevitably receive e-mails accusing me of being a hypocrite alleging that Saudi Arabia has no religious freedoms and bans proselytizing by Christians and people of other faiths.

When I attempt to explain the unique position of Saudi Arabia as a Muslim country I am usually met with a snort and a huff, demonstrating the profound disconnect between Western non-Muslims and Asian Muslims. The debate over religious freedom can’t be made in the context of Christianity in secular societies.

While I am all for compromise between various religious leaders to reach common ground, I can’t help but think that I am constantly being goaded into bending to the will of one religion based on how it is practiced in the West.

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1 comment:

Jerry M said...

The demand is not to proselytize but to allow churches to be erected for the many foreign christians who live in the country. This is a very different condition. Your example using Vatican city is unfair, since Vatican city is a very small city state, which is all that remains of the once much large Papal States that were ruled by the Pope some centuries ago.

The physical work of Saudi Arabia is often done by foreigners. Those foreigners spend long periods in KSA and the need access to the own religious services.