7 May, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/10/2006
SAUDI ARABIA
Catholic priest arrested and expelled from Riyadh

He was caught unawares while celebrating mass in a private apartment. He was visiting Catholic Indians in the country. Like all other non-Muslims, pastoral care is denied them. There are around one million Catholics in Saudi Arabia.



Riyadh (AsiaNews) – A Catholic Indian priest was yesterday forced to leave Saudi Arabia. He was discovered by the religious police as he organized a prayer meeting in the lead-up to Easter. Arrested on 5 April, he remained in police custody for four days and on Saturday 8th April he left for India. The practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Meetings held privately in people's homes, among friends, are also banned.

The priest, Fr George Joshua, belongs to the Malankara rite of Kerala (India). His visit to Catholic Indians in the Saudi Kingdom was planned with his bishop's permission.

On 5 April, Fr George had just celebrated mass in a private house when seven religious policemen (muttawa) broke into the house together with two ordinary policemen. The police arrested the priest and another person.

The Saudi religious police are well known for their ruthlessness; they often torture believers of other religions who are arrested.

AsiaNews sources said there were around 400,000 Indian Catholics in Saudi Arabia who were denied pastoral care. Catholic foreigners in the country number at least one million: none of them can participate in mass while they are in Saudi Arabia. Catechism for their children – nearly 100,000 – is banned.

Often, for feasts like Easter and Christmas, Catholics plan holidays in the Emirates, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi, where at least for once, they are free to attend mass.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
06/22/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
Riyadh: an Indian missionary accused of proselytism is imprisoned
02/09/2005 US - VIETNAM - SAUDI ARABIA
US Commission calls for sanctions against Vietnam and Saudi Arabia for violating religious freedom
07/16/2008 SAUDI ARABIA - VATICAN
Inter-religious conference in Madrid wanted by Saudi King Abdallah
07/26/2010 SAUDI ARABIA
Islamic scholars: if the veil is banned, Muslim women may uncover their face
07/21/2006 USA - SAUDI ARABIA
US trusts Riyad's new promise to ensure religious freedom

Editor's choices
VIETNAM – VATICAN
Vietnam today, 40 years after the fall of Saigon
by Lee NguyenOn 30 April 1975, North Vietnamese forces seized Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, thus ending the Vietnam War. Forty years later, the country has become a medium-size economic "tiger" in Asia and the world, a country with a capitalist economy behind a Communist facade, under a regime still bent on exerting tight social controls. There are some positive signs for the Church, but also acts of persecution, bans, and censorship, especially against bishops and priests. Yet, the country really needs the reconciliation Christians can bring to heal still present wounds and divisions.
IRAQ – MIDDLE EAST
For Chaldean Patriarch, state secularism and religious freedom are the practical response to fundamentalist barbarism
by Louis Raphael I Sako*In Beirut, Mar Sako met the leaders of the Syriac Catholic and Syriac Orthodox Churches. Together, they agreed to a major conference to discuss the situation of Christians in the Middle East. Past massacres and today's tragedies are a lesson on which to base real coexistence. Reflecting upon the issues, His Beatitude shares his thoughts with AsiaNews readers.
NEPAL – ASIA
Nepal earthquake: Church and international community coming to the aid of survivorsThe Italian Bishops’ Conference has pledged € 3 million in emergency medical assistance. The South Korean Church has allocated funds for the displaced. India, Pakistan and China are already on the ground. A Chinese airline has hiked ticket fares to evacuate its nationals. Israel is selective in its help, airlifting 25 children of surrogate mothers and gay couples.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.