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EXCLUSIVE: Saudis Raid House Church, Arrest 27 Christians

Arabic media reports indicate that Saudi authorities raided a house church in Khafji province, arresting 27 men, women and children. The raid was conducted by the Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, according to reports.

Khafji was the site of the first major ground engagement of the 1991 Gulf War.

The raid is another part of an ongoing harassment campaign directed at Christians at the exact same time that the Saudi Kingdom is making a major "interfaith outreach" push internationally.

Here is an Arabic report that appeared late yesterday on Twitter: BwyfgyiIgAAPg5s

Another report appears to show pictures of the Saudi raid:

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A 2010 Reuters report observes the plight of Christians in the Gulf states and the Arabian Peninsula:

At least 3.5 million Christians of all denominations live in the Gulf Arab region, the birthplace of Islam and home to some of the most conservative Arab Muslim societies in the world. The freedom to practice Christianity — or any religion other than Islam — is not always a given in the Gulf and varies from country to country. Saudi Arabia, which applies an austere form of Sunni Islam, has by far the tightest restrictions.

As the Islamic State engages in widespread religious cleansing in Iraq and Syria of ancient Christian communities, it might be fair to ask whether the difference between Wahhabis and the Islamic State is merely of degree and not kind.

Also read: The Islamic State vs. the Islamic Republic