A court in Khobar Governorate in eastern Saudi Arabia (pictured) will hear the case against two people who allegedly helped a Saudi woman convert to Christianity. The defendants are a Saudi citizen and a Lebanese national.
Proselytizing by non-Muslims is illegal in Saudi Arabia, but the case is the first of its kind to be considered by a Saudi court.
A judicial source told Al-Riyadh newspaper Thursday that the Saudi general prosecutor referred the case to the court after the woman’s father filed a lawsuit against the two, saying they converted his daughter, 28, and helped her escape to Lebanon, where she currently lives.
The woman formerly worked at a governorate-affiliated company, where the Saudi citizen charged with helping her convert was also working. She traveled from there to Lebanon via Bahrain.
The source suggested that the woman may repent after returning home, as Muslim scholars can talk to her and try to convince her return to Islam.
Adding that the case may be part of a plan targeting young Saudis, the source called on the authorities to consolidate Islamic values among the country’s youths.
Ninety-seven percent of the Saudi population is Muslim, mostly Sunni, and although there are over 1 million Christians, mostly foreign workers, in the kingdom, no faith apart from Islam is allowed to be practiced.
Women in Saudi Arabia are required to have a male “guardian” whose approval they need to travel.