August 10, 2012
Saudi Arabia Deports 35 Ethiopian Christians for Prayer Vigil
Group has been imprisoned since December.
A group of 35 Ethiopian Christians were finally deported from Saudi Arabia last week after being arrested and detained since December 2011 for holding a prayer meeting.
The 29 women and six men were arrested after Saudi security officials raided the home of one of the Ethiopians while they were holding an "all-night prayer vigil."
International Christian Concern and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom report that the Christians were physically and sexually "assaulted, harassed, and pressured" to convert to Islam while imprisoned for more than seven months, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Saudi Arabia also regularly ranks high on Open Doors' World Watch List of countries where Christians are the most persecuted.
Meanwhile, Saudi officials arrested two men in July accused of "forcibly converting" a female colleague to Christianity after giving her books on religion and inviting her to follow a religious chat room. The young woman's father filed the charges after she refused to denounce Christianity and return home after fleeing to Lebanon.