US Hindus Protest Destruction of Hindu Temple in Saudi Arabia

April 1, 2005

Source: Religion News Service

On April 1, 2005 Religion News Service reported, "The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) expressed shock and outrage over the destruction of a Hindu temple in Saudi Arabia on March 24, 2005, and rapid deportation of Hindus found worshipping at the temple by the Saudi government. Several news agencies, including the pan-Arab Al-Hayat, reported on March 26th, 2005 that Saudi Islamic police, known as the Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or Mutawaa’in, found the makeshift temple while raiding a number of apartments in a district populated by Asians. The sudden raid by the Islamic police, it was announced, came on suspicion of illicit alcohol manufacturing and distribution of pornographic materials originating in that area. When the Mutawaa’in forcibly entered the apartment, of which one room was festooned with images of Hindu Deities, the police immediately destroyed the makeshift temple and demanded that worshippers cease their activities. When the caretaker-priest refused to stop performing his religious rituals, he and two other worshippers were deported, Al-Hayat reported. There were no reports of alcohol or pornographic material being discovered."