Christian convert in Saudi Arabia acquitted of theft, faces further charges

23 April 2021

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A Christian convert from Islam in Saudi Arabia has been acquitted of theft on the grounds that there is no evidence to support the accusations.

The Christian, named only as “A”, had been accused of theft by his sister’s husband. “A” had reportedly aided his sister, also a Christian convert from Islam, and her children to escape from Saudi Arabia.

Ruins of ancient church building

The ruins of an ancient church building, probably dating from the fourth century, were discovered in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. No visitors are allowed to the site [Source: Assyrian International News Agency (AINA)]

Lawyers representing his brother-in-law were unable to bring any evidence, leading the judge to acquit “A” and dismiss the case.

“A” faces two further court cases, for helping his sister to flee against the wishes of her family, and – in a separate incident – allegedly trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. 

The latter charge arose from a conversation in a restaurant in 2020, in which “A” allegedly discussed his own conversion to Christianity.

The brother-in-law of “A” has threatened violence against the wife and son of “A”, who may be vulnerable to attack should he be imprisoned.

“A” has already spent time in prison and suffered flogging for his faith in Christ and for helping his sister leave the country.

In Saudi Arabia, it is a capital offence for a Muslim to leave their Islamic religion, as specified in sharia (Islamic law). No Saudi Christian convert from Islam is known to have been executed in recent times, but some have been murdered by their families. The number of Saudi nationals who are Christians is unknown, and even for foreigners it is not safe to be openly Christian because it is illegal to manifest any religion publicly except Islam.

Related Countries

Saudi Arabia