American Hindus Condemn Actions of Saudi Police

August 13, 2005

Source: Hindu American Foundation press release

On August 13, 2005 a Hindu American Foundation press release reported, "The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed concern over the latest news that detention cases of Indian nationals on allegations of involvement in religious activities in Saudi Arabia are steadily on the rise. On August 3, 2005, the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) reported that Indians traveling to Saudia Arabia have been warned not to carry religious scriptures, photographs or icons, as per an official statement issued by the government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The Indian Ambassador in Riyadh said, 'Indian nationals should be strictly briefed against organizing group religious activities in private residences or undertaking missionary or preaching activity.' This came on the eve of the arrest of nine Indians for allegedly preaching Christianity in Saudi Arabia, reported IANS. 'It is particularly shocking that Saudi Arabia, as a spiritual heartland itself with the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, continues to ban private worship by non-Muslims,' said Pawan Deshpande, member of HAF Executive Council. 'Preventing Hindus from practicing their own faith in the privacy of their own homes deserves unequivocal condemnation by the global community.'"