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Saudi Arabia: Muslims Converting to Christianity Despite Persecution

Saudi Arabia: Muslims Converting to Christianity Despite Persecution

Although Saudi Arabia is a predominantly Muslim country that is hostile to Christians, many in the country are converting to Christianity and receiving support for their faith online.

According to, there are about 1.4 million Christians living in Saudi Arabia. Although this is only 4.4 percent of the country’s total population, it is up from only 0.1 percent just over 100 years ago.

Islam is the official state religion and those who reject it--whether Christians, atheists, or those of any other religion--are often severely persecuted. In fact, Saudi Arabia ranks fourteenth on persecution charity Open Doors’s World Watch List of countries where Christians face the worst persecution.

In addition, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom states that Saudi Arabia "remains uniquely repressive in the extent to which it restricts the public expression of any religion other than Islam.”

Despite these barriers to faith, the numbers of those choosing to put their faith in Christ are increasing.

Some Christian converts such as Mohammed (whose name has been changed for security reasons), learned about Christ from Open Doors’s online discipleship course. He professed faith in Christ, was baptized, and now is strengthened in his faith through online resources. Others have stories similar to Mohammed's.

Human rights groups are pressuring the U.S. and the U.K. to confront Saudi Arabia about its restrictive religious freedom.

Publication date: May 31, 2016