Father Kills Saudi Woman for Converting to Christianity
Dear Friends and Partners,
We would like to thank you for your terrific response to our China alert and to encourage you to stay committed to boycotting Chinese products particularly as the Olympics end and the world’s attention turns away from China. We know from personal experience what a challenge avoiding products made in China will be, but a great challenge holds an even greater opportunity. This small inconvenience will generate numerous occasions for discussion with friends and family about what is happening to Christians and other minorities in China and, after all, spreading the word is one of our best weapons.
In the meantime, we would like to bring to your attention a recent case from Saudi Arabia. In the beginning of August a young Saudi woman who had apparently learned about Christianity on the internet and secretly converted was killed by her father after a heated debate about religion. The woman had contributed to internet discussions about Christianity under various nicknames including “Rania” and her family had become suspicious when her brother discovered some of her postings and a cross on her computer. A few days before her murder, “Rania” had indicated in one of her internet postings that her life had become unbearable after her brother’s discovery.
“Rania’s” father is a member of Saudi Arabia’s so-called “religious police”, officially known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Against Vice, charged with ensuring compliance with Saudi Arabia’s strict Wahhabi brand of Islam. He had reportedly cut off his daughter’s tongue before burning her to death. News reports indicate that he was later in custody being investigated for “honour killing”, a charge which generally results in a sentence of six months to three years in jail, rather than murder. According to OFWI sources, however, the father has been released and has effectively been assured that he will be cleared of all charges and granted a promotion.
As we have mentioned in an earlier alert, Saudi Arabia is an important western ally in the war on terror. Despite some recent and very public international gestures by the Saudi king in the name of inter-religious dialogue, the kingdom’s Islamic Shari’ah-based legal system is one of the most repressive in the world. All public non-Islamic religious practice is prohibited in the kingdom and even private observance among foreigners is severely restricted. The number of Saudi Christians living in the kingdom is impossible to determine. Any conversions take place in utmost secrecy as apostasy, or the act of leaving Islam, carries the official death penalty. As in “Rania’s” case, however, family members of the apostate will often seek to reclaim the family’s honour by killing the convert themselves.
Also, please PRAY:
• that Saudi officials would see this father’s act for what it was, an act of murder and not one of honour, and that by sentencing him accordingly they would do justice for “Rania”;
• for “Rania’s” family, including her father, that they would see the senselessness of a religion based on hatred and intolerance and that they would come to know and experience true love, mercy, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ; and,
• that news about this incident would spread like wildfire through the Saudi kingdom. Pray that the Saudi people would be inspired by “Rania’s” curiosity and courage to begin questioning a belief system that permits and even encourages such barbaric acts and that they would discover truth, love, and mercy so that “Rania’s” death would not be in vain.
The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and write to (contact details are included below):
• to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia insisting that Saudi authorities investigate this matter fully and ensure that “Rania’s” murder and other so-called “honour killings” are properly dealt with as murder and that those responsible, including “Rania’s” father, are brought to justice and not rewarded. Urge Saudi authorities also to take effective measures to implement international human rights standards regarding freedom of religion and ask them to begin by repealing the death penalty for apostasy; and,
• to Foreign Affairs Minister David Emerson or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, insisting that they take a strong stand with their ally and do not let larger political issues get in the way of truth and justice on behalf of “Rania” and religious freedom and human rights for all other converts in Saudi Arabia.
Please remember to send us a copy of your correspondence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.
“They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream” in the Lord’s name.
Be with God and may God be with you.
Rev. Majed El Shafie
President and Founder
One Free World International
El Shafie Ministries
Mr. Abdullah Saleh A. Al Awwad
Counsellor & Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
201 Sussex Dr.
Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6
Tel.: (613) 237-4100; Fax: (613) 237-0567
The Honourable David Emerson
Minister for Foreign Affairs
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
Tel.: (613) 943-0267; Fax: (613) 943-0219
In the United States:
His Excellency Adel A. Al-Jubeir
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel.: (202) 342-3800
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel.: (202) 647-4000 (Main switchboard)