Saturday, November 18, 2017

In historic move, Saudi Arabia opening a church

(The961) - The Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Boutros Al Rai is in Saudi Arabia for a historic visit.

It’s the first time that the kingdom invites a church leader, unlike Christian politicians who visit the kingdom often.

The patriarch met the King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. He also met with the Prime Minister Saad Hariri who said that he would return to Lebanon within days.

The kingdom intends to restore a 900-year-old church. It will be a symbolic gift to the Lebanese Maronite Patriarch and the symbol of the beginning of the Christian-Islamic dialogue.

This visit has an important significance since Saudi Arabia vowed to be open to other faiths. The Crown Prince is aiming at moderating Islam and making Saudi Arabia a country open to all religions and cultures.


  1. Very interesting. I had heard that this new Crown Prince was going to go after the old guard religious authorities but this is pretty major given the nations hostility to the Christian faith. (I remember being in Saudi Arabia and seeing the religious police chase and hit people where not going to the Mosque quick enough, they left us American service members alone)

    To be a Christian in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a scary proposition. This is a good step in the right direction.

  2. what christian demonination was this church originally, with syriac, orthodox, maronite. melkite, assyrian options why were the maronites chosen? just drilling down to try to understand the dynamics of the choice. of course this is a major action and oje to be applauded but just trying to understand the methodology

  3. This needs to be read in the context of SA trying to foment division and war in Lebanon. The Kingdom continues to export and fund its genocidal Wahhabi ideology throughout the world. In terms of signaling broad policy changes, this should be taken about as seriously as Pyongyang's Russian Orthodox Church.