The secret faith of the Saudi Arabian Christians
It’s the fifth time that Saudi Arabia participates in the FIFA World Cup. They played in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. The last ten years was a difficult period for the Saudi football club. They failed to qualify for the World Cup of 2010 and 2014. In 2011 and 2015 they were quickly eliminated from the African Cup of Nations. Now after twelve years absence, Saudi Arabia is again participating in the World Cup.
Over the same period of time, there have been considerable developments in Saudi Arabia. For example, beginning this month, women can get a driver’s licence. Ten Saudi Arabian women who recently got their licences in other countries will soon be able to drive.
Despite the apparent progress, in this country, there is still no freedom of religion. In 2018, Saudi Arabia ranks 12th place in the world list of persecuted countries. Muslims who convert to Christianity can be expelled from their own families, imprisoned, bullied or even murdered. As a consequence, Saudi Arabian Christians have to practice their faith in secret.
Nawal is a young Christian woman. She has two children and has married a Muslim man whose family doesn’t know about Nawal’s faith. After the birth of their second child, Nawal had problems with her baby, and asked some other Christians to pray for her. Now, the baby is better, yet her family and friends still think that Nawal is a Muslim, so she can’t talk about her faith to anyone. Without contact with other Christians, her faith is vulnerable. But the fact that she asked for prayers shows that she still believes in God. The only way we can help her now is through prayer.
Translator: Ildikó Ungvári