Friday, January 30, 2009

Saudi blogger arrested; site blocked

christforsaudi Having all of my blogs hosted on Blogger, I felt a degree of solidarity when I learned of the recent arrest of a Saudi Christian blogger (now that is something I didn't expect to type out anytime soon) named Hamoud Bin Saleh who wrote about his conversion to Christ from Islam.  Like myself, he hosted his blog "Masihi Saudi" on Blogger ( On January 13, the young blogger was arrested by Saudi authorities and jailed at the infamous Eleisha political prison in Riyadh.  Saudi authorities then blocked his site (and which remains blocked). 

Previously arrested for nine months in 2004 and again last November, he was interrogated about some articles he had written that condemned the Saudi regime’s violation of human rights and the rights of converts to Christianity. According to Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Bin Saleh was released in November during a Saudi-sponsored, inter-faith dialogue conference at U.N. headquarters in New York involving representatives from 80 countries on November 12-13 in order to avoid tarnishing Saudi Arabia's image and exposing the government's false allegations.

Compass Direct reports that Bin Saleh wrote on his web site wrote that his journey to Christ began after witnessing the public beheading of three Pakistanis convicted of drug charges. Shaken, he began an extensive study of Islamic history and law, as well as Saudi justice. He became disillusioned with sharia (Islamic law) and dismayed that kingdom authorities only prosecuted poor Saudis and foreigners.  “I was convinced that the wretched Pakistanis were executed in accordance with the Muhammadan laws just because they are poor and have no money or favored positions, which they had no control or power over,” he wrote in Arabic in his December 22 posting, referring to “this terrible prejudice in the application of justice in Saudi Arabia.”

After reading how Jesus forgave – rather than stoned – a woman condemned for adultery, Bin Saleh eventually received Christ as savior.

Pray for this young man as he languishes in prison. There is little question that his life is in danger.  The Saudi government refuses to conform or comment on Bin Saleh's arrest.

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