From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Religious Liberty Expert Condemns Abuses in Saudi Arabia

Date 08 Apr 2000 02:11:09

April 8, 2000
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland

Religious Liberty Expert Condemns Abuses in Saudi 
Arabia Before The United Nations

Geneva, Switzerland.    Seventh-day Adventist 
religious liberty activist Gianfranco Rossi 
addressed the United Nations Commission on Human 
Rights on March 28, telling delegates that "Saudi 
Arabia is the only country in the world that 
formally prohibits on its territory the public 
practice of all other religions except Islam."

Citing an incident in January of this year in 
which Saudi authorities arrested 16 Christians, 
including five children, for meeting for a private 
religious service, Rossi called for greater 
awareness of the plight of people of all minority 
faiths in Saudi Arabia.

"Among the 6 million immigrant workers, there are 
many who are not Muslims and who would like to 
freely profess their religion," said Rossi. 
"However, if they try to do this, they are 
arrested, imprisoned and expelled from the 
country. Saudi authorities prohibit Jews, 
Christians, and all other non-Muslims from having 
their places of worship and even from meeting in 

Rossi later met with representatives of the United 
States Commission on International Religious 
Freedom, telling them that "religious extremism is 
a scourge, which must be fought to avoid serious 
tragedies for humanity." 

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