By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - A former Muslim who converted to Christianity in Saudi Arabia faces two court cases and threats of violence against him and his family, trial observers say.
The convert, who was identified as “A”, appeared in court on March 11 on charges of trying to convert Muslims, Christians said.
These charges reportedly followed a conversation in a restaurant in 2020, in which he allegedly discussed his own conversion to Christianity.
A second court case on March 26 is about alleged financial misconduct. That trial was sparked by the assistance “A” gave to his sister, also a convert to Christianity, and her children to flee Saudi Arabia, said advocacy group Barnabas Fund.
The sister’s husband has threatened violence against the wife and son of “A”, the group told Worthy News. “A” already spent time in prison “and suffered flogging for his faith in Christ and for helping his sister leave the country,” Barnabas Fund explained.
In Saudi Arabia, a strict Islamic nation, it is a capital offense for a Muslim to leave Islam as specified in sharia, or 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,” Barnabas Fund added.
The number of Saudi nationals who are Christians is unknown. Even for foreigners, it is not safe to be openly Christian as it is illegal to manifest any religion publicly except Islam, according to Christians familiar with the situation.