Persecution of Christians Denied by Saudi Officials, Citing Islamic Tolerance

June 7, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP

On June 7, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "A Saudi official denied allegations that the kingdom has arrested and tortured Christians, saying such actions run counter to Islamic tolerance. The remarks to the official Saudi Press Agency came in response to reports in Iranian papers of recent arrests. The official, who spoke to SPA on condition of anonymity, said the allegations 'don't go with the principals and values of the kingdom and above all our tolerant Islamic belief which guarantees the rights of Muslims and residents of different religions and ethnicities alike.' Saudi officials rarely speak on the record. Members of other religions in the conservative Islamic kingdom generally are allowed to practice their beliefs in private but are prohibited from seeking converts or holding organized religious gatherings."