December 15, 2018. These have contributed to softening GDP growth to 1.7% year-on-year (y/y) in Q1 2019 … ... 2019. However, the Saudi Arabian authorities accept the private practice of religions other than Islam, and you can bring a Bible into the country as long as it is for your personal use. Some Arabs, particularly early arrivals, have been naturalized, but most are temporary, albeit often long-term, residents. Top 15 Facts about Poverty in Saudi Arabia. A major demographic theme since the early 20th century has been the government’s policy of settling the Bedouin. The Institute for Gulf Studies found that Saudi textbooks in 2019 were still teaching students that “Christians, Jews, and other Muslims are ‘enemies’ of the true believer, and to befriend and show respect only to other true believers, specifically the Wahhabis.” Saudi Arabia has executed 37 men convicted of terror-related crimes, the kingdom's official news agency said Tuesday. Export of goods from Saudi Arabia 2019. For comparison, this surpasses 2015, in which the government killed 158. The last Article IV Executive Board Consultation was on July 10, 2019.  A 2006 report in Asia News states that there are "at least one million" Roman Catholics in the kingdom. Other large cities include Al-Ṭāʾif, Al-Hufūf, Tabūk, Buraydah, Al-Mubarraz, Khamīs Mushayṭ, Najrān, Ḥāʾil, Jīzān, and Abhā. Saudi Arabia executions spike in 2019 – with 134 crucified and beheaded including six who were kids when arrested Jenny Awford , US Digital Editor 16 Sep 2019, 4:22 By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Among the changes hes spearheaded: granting women the right to drive, reintroducing cinemas and curbing the sweeping pow… Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Although the U.S. State Department has designated Saudi Arabia as a CPC since 2004, most recently in November 2018, an indefinite waiver has been in place since 2006.  A government official announced in that same year that 850 websites and social media pages espousing views deemed to be 'atheistic' in nature have been blocked in the country over a span of 16 months. In the rest of the kingdom, non-Muslims, while admitted as temporary visitors, were not permitted to establish residence or practice their religion.. As a result, Saudi Arabia’s overall rate of natural increase is more than twice the world average, and its population is young, with roughly half under 30 years old and about one-fourth younger than 15.  According to official statistics, 70–85% of Saudi Arabian citizens are Sunni Muslims, 10–15% are Shia. However, the Saudi government does not release regular statistics regarding this information, resulting in varied estimates by outside agencies. Saudi Arabia ranked first for islam > percentage muslim amongst Muslim countries in 2004.  Traditionally, influential conservative clerics have used the label ‘atheist’ to apply not to those who profess to believe that God does not exist, but to "those who question their strict interpretations of Islamic scriptures or express doubts about" Wahhabism.  Private prayer services are suppressed, and the Saudi Arabian religious police reportedly regularly search the homes of Christians. Home > Factbook > Countries > Saudi Arabia. Saudi GDP at current prices amounted to SR2.974 trillion in 2019 - up by about 0.8 percent from a year earlier. The Kingdom Centre, a building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With coastlines on two seas, Saudi Arabia boasts some of the world's top scuba diving locations. Proselytizing by non-Muslims, including the distribution of non-Muslim religious materials such as Bibles, Bhagavad Gita, Ahmedi Booksare illegal. It did not include southern and southeastern Arabia, which were not seen as part of Islam's holy land. The largest towns are cosmopolitan in character, and some are associated with dominant functions: Mecca and Medina are religious, Riyadh is political and administrative, and Jiddah is commercial. Dhahran (Al-Ẓahrān), near the Persian Gulf coast in Al-Sharqiyyah province, is the administrative centre of Saudi Aramco (Arabian-American Oil Company), and nearby Al-Khubar and Al-Dammām are important commercial coastal towns. While the official charge was “mixing with the opposite sex” — a crime for unrelated people in Saudi Arabia — the offenders complained they were arrested for praying as Christians. With the central aim of transitioning the economy away from its dependency on the oil sector, the government of Saudi Arabia continues to push ahead with its diversification efforts. The major areas of population are in the central Hejaz, in Asir, in central Najd, and near the Persian Gulf. On October 30, 2019October 30, 2019 By admin_admin.  Examples of those so condemned (but not executed) are, In February/March 2014, a series of new anti-terrorism laws were decreed. Public displays by non-Wahhābī Muslim groups, including by other Sunni sects, have been limited and even banned by the government. This paper is intended to analyse the shifting power dynamics in Saudi Arabia and, more specifically, how they are affecting the Saudi … Wahhābism, as it is called in the West (members refer to themselves as muwaḥḥidūn, “unitarians”), is a strict interpretation of the Ḥanbalī school of Islamic jurisprudence and is named for Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb (1703–92), a religious scholar whose alliance with Ibn Saud led to the establishment of the first Saʿūdī state. , According to Human Rights Watch, the Shia Muslim minority face systematic discrimination from the Saudi Arabian government in education, the justice system and especially religious freedom. Countries of the Gulf Region, Saudi Arabia's Religious Police Crack Down, "Saudi activist sentenced to 10 years, 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam", "Saudi activist receives 7-year sentence, 600 lashes for insulting Islam", "Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents", "Saudi Arabia: New Terrorism Regulations Assault Rights", (in Arabic) نسبة الملحدين في السعودية تتراوح بين 5 و 9 بالمئة, "سعورس : فرانس 24: نسبة الإلحاد مرتفعة في السعودية والسلطات تعتبره إرهابا", هل اقترب عدد الملحدين السعوديين من «المليون»؟. , Proselytizing by non-Muslims is illegal, and conversion by Muslims to another religion (apostasy) carries the death penalty (though there have been no confirmed reports of executions for apostasy in recent years). But at times he and the royal family have come under criticism for failing to do so. It states that they are being "denied pastoral care ... Catechism for their children – nearly 100,000 – is banned." It is unknown how many Ahmadis there are in the country, as Ahmadis are not recognized by Saudi Arabia. Somalia ranked first for islam > percentage muslim amongst Former British colonies in 2004.  (More than 30% of the population is made up of foreign workers who are predominantly but not entirely Muslim.) November 4, 2019 The High Cost of Change. According to the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence, accepted by both the Saudi Arabians and the declaration's signatories, for a non-Muslim even to set foot on the sacred soil is a major offense. Subregions in Asir are formed by the oasis cluster of Najrān—a highland area north of Yemen—and by the coastal plain, the Tihāmah. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and most of its natives are adherents of the majority Sunni branch. More than one or any public display of the Bible will bring harsh punishment, even for tourists. The legal system is based largely on sharia Pin the Capital on the Country: Fact or Fiction? On the assumption that Saudi Arabia produces at its agreed level under the current OPEC+ agreement in 2019H2, real oil GDP growth is projected at 0.7 percent in 2019 and overall real GDP growth at 1.9 percent. The population comprised 57.48 per cent males and 42.52 per cent females in 2017, with 135 males for every 100 females. Saudi Arabia is trying everything to make sure the latest oil deal sticks. Most are Twelver, although there remain small numbers of Ismāʿīlīs. Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is located in West Asia with an estimated area of 830,000 square miles, making it the fifth largest country in Asia.Saudi Arabia houses a resident population of 28.7 million people. "Fr. , Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocracy. Non-Muslim propagation is banned, and conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death as apostasy. Sufism, for instance, is not openly practiced, nor is celebration of the Prophet’s birthday (mawlid).  In 2007, Human Rights Watch requested that King Abdullah stop a campaign to round up and deport foreign followers of the Ahmadiyya faith. This practice has largely been successful, though sedentary Bedouin remain strongly attached to their tribal affiliation. While Saudi Arabia does allow non-Muslims to live in Saudi Arabia to work, they may not practice religion publicly. 9 December 2019, the report assesses Saudi Arabia’s fiscal and economic developments, and describes the progress the country has made in diversifying the economy. ... non-Muslims are not allowed to have Saudi citizenship and non-Muslim places of worship are not permitted (2013) freedom, USCIRF again finds in 2019 that Saudi Arabia merits designation as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). ... Saudi Arabia has reportedly used commercially available surveillance technologies to hack into … More than four-fifths of Saudi Arabia’s total population live in cities, and almost all of the rest live in government-supported agricultural enterprises. , The official form of Islam is Sunni of the Hanbali school, in its Salafi version. But the decree was final and irreversible, and from then until now the holy land of the Hijaz has been forbidden territory for non-Muslims.  According to a 2012 online poll by WIN-Gallup International, 5% of 502 Saudi Arabians surveyed stated they were "convinced atheists". ... the Jews and Christians of Arabia were resettled on lands assigned to them – the Jews in Syria, the Christians in Iraq. Al-Jubayl on the Gulf and Yanbuʿ on the Red Sea are the terminus points of oil and gas pipelines, and large petrochemical industrial complexes are located in both. If the 5% figure is taken into account, the numerical amount would imply that there are 'almost a million' Saudi atheists or 935,378 to be exact.  Christians have complained of religious persecution by authorities. . Population: 33,091,113 (July 2018 est.) by Sani Tukur. At the same time, it has tourist attractions of such cultural heft as Mecca and Medina, the most sacred destinations for Muslim travelers and pilgrims. Saudi Arabia’s oil exports dropped by 10.75 percent year on year in 2019, according to data from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI), as carried by local news outlet Mubasher..  Furthermore, Salafism is official version of Sunni Islam and adherence to other strands even within Sunnism is restricted. , Estimates of the number of Christians in Saudi Arabia include 1,500,000 (Memri.org) All Christians in the Kingdom are foreign workers. "The rise of atheism in Saudi Arabia, where talking about atheism is illegal", " السعودية: إغلاق 850 موقعاً إلحادياً خلال 16 شهراً", Council of Economic and Development Affairs, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (central bank), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Religion_in_Saudi_Arabia&oldid=991809486, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2020, Articles to be expanded from November 2020, Articles with empty sections from November 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 22:54. Hajj 2019: Saudi Arabia announces new measures for hajj. Turkey ranked first for islam > percentage muslim amongst Europe in 2004. Ava Morkos was originally invited to Saudi Arabia by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in March 2018. Life expectancy averages about 75 years. The process was also gradual rather than sudden, and there are reports of Jews and Christians remaining in Khaybar and Najran for some time after Umar's edict.  Foreign workers are not allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter. The current government of Saudi Arabia (i.e., the Saʿūd family) has largely relied on religion—including its close and continuing ties to Wahhābism and its status as the custodian of Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of Islam—to establish its political legitimacy. LONDON -- Saudi Arabia executed the highest number of prisoners in recent years in 2019, a year that saw the kingdom come under intense scrutiny … Israel ranked first for islam > percentage muslim amongst High income OECD countries in 2004. The Kaaba surrounded by pilgrims during the hajj, Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the 51 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. A large number of foreign workers living in Saudi Arabia (8 million expatriates out of a total population of 27 million) are non-Muslims. , Robert Murray Thomas Religion in Schools: Controversies Around the World Greenwood Publishing Group 2006, Islamic Political Culture, Democracy, and Human Rights: A Comparative Study, p 93 Daniel E. Price – 1999, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, conversion by Muslims to another religion, Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, International propagation of Salafism and Wahhabism, "International Religious Freedom Report 2004", "2013 Report on International Religious Freedom", http://www.moi.gov.sa/wps/wcm/connect/121c03004d4bb7c98e2cdfbed7ca8368/EN_saudi_nationality_system.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=121c03004d4bb7c98e2cdfbed7ca8368, Amnesty International, Annual Report 2013, Saudi Arabia, "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism", "A surprising map of where the world's atheists live", "Atheism explodes in Saudi Arabia, despite state-enforced ban", "Saudi Arabia imposes death sentence for Bible smuggling", "Saudi Arabia's New Law Imposes Death Sentence for Bible Smugglers? In one case in December 2012, 35 Ethiopian Christians working in Jeddah (six men and 29 women who held a weekly evangelical prayer meeting) were arrested and detained by the kingdom’s religious police for holding a private prayer gathering. Saudi Arabia (MNN) – According to several human rights watchdog groups, Saudi Arabia will likely execute more people in 2019 than any other year this decade. The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia's treatment of religious minorities has been described as religious apartheid by both Saudi Arabian and non-Saudi critics alike. Non-Muslim propagation is banned, and conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable by death as apostasy.  Saudi Arabia has officially identified atheists as terrorists. From Kazakhstan and Helsinki to Maldives and Timbuktu, sort fact from fiction while sorting through the countries and capitals in this quiz. , As of 2001, there were an estimated 1,500,000 Indian nationals in Saudi Arabia, most of them Muslims, but some Hindus. If Saudi Arabia increases oil production, then oil GDP growth would be higher (as would export and fiscal revenues). New tourist regulations allow for one Bible to be brought into the country for personal use only. Reigns of Saud ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz and Fayṣal (1953–75), Saudi Arabia under Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah (1982–2005), Foreign policy since the end of the Persian Gulf War, Reign of King Salman ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz from 2015. Asir is the highland region south of the Hejaz; its capital, Abhā, lies at an elevation of about 8,000 feet (2,400 metres). Public worship and display by non-Muslim faiths is prohibited. Islam is the country religion of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia: import of goods (in billion U.S. dollars) 141.89bn USD Detailed statistics. The Hejaz, in the northwest, contains Mecca and Medina, as well as one of the kingdom’s primary ports, Jiddah. ", "SAUDI ARABIA IMPOSES DEATH SENTENCE FOR BIBLE SMUGGLING", "ANNUAL REPORTOF THE U.S. COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM", "USCIRF Releases 2019 Annual Report and Recommendations for World's Most Egregious Violators of Religious Freedom", "Pilgrimage presents massive logistical challenge for Saudi Arabia", "Saudi Arabia: 2 Years Behind Bars on Apostasy Accusation", The Highly Civilized Man: Richard Burton and the Victorian world, The Arabian Nights: The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1001 Nights ...), "Saudi Arabia: International Religious Freedom Report 2013", "Saudi Arabia extends hand of friendship to Pope", "Saudi Arabia: International Religious Freedom Report 2010", "License to Kill: Usama bin Ladin's Declaration of Jihad", "Foreign travel advice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Like other non-Muslim religions, Hindus are not permitted to worship publicly in Saudi Arabia.  Religious minorities do not have the right to practice their religion. The Prophet's Mosque, Medina, Saudi Arabia.  A second major theme has been an influx of foreign workers (first foreign Arabs and later workers from other regions) since the 1950s; no exact numbers are available, but it is generally agreed that these foreign workers have numbered in the millions. Importing larger quantities than this can carry severe penalties. 2 min read  The two holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina, are in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocracy. 10/19/2019 Saudi Arabia (International Christian Concern) – Adherence to strict Saudi Arabian rules include restrictions on open Christian practice. There have also been some complaints of destruction of Hindu religious items by Saudi Arabian authorities. Other religions are practiced among foreign workers. Compared with European expulsions, Umar's decree was both limited and compassionate. Najd occupies a large part of the interior and includes the capital, Riyadh. According to the government of the United Kingdom: The public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is illegal; as is an intention to convert others. Is Milan the capital of Italy? , The annual report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) tagged Saudi Arabia along with 15 other nations as “countries of particular concern” for engaging in or tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations [of religious freedom]”. Al-Hasa, in the east along the Persian Gulf, includes the principal petroleum-producing areas. Moreover, most of these are unaccompanied males who have left their families in their native land; this situation is particularly true for lower-paid workers. Other Muslims such as the Shi’ite Muslims are not allowed to practice the religion or serve in any state office including the public service. The people in question were the Jews of the oasis of Khaybar in the north and the Christians of Najran in the south. Article 1 of the law also conflated atheism and religious dissent, outlawing "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based". Women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from taking part in many aspects of public life. For non-Sunni Muslims, non-Muslims, and non-religious, "freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law" and Saudi "government policies continued to place severe restrictions on religious freedom", according to the 2013 International Religious Freedom Report of the U.S. State Department. It has two coastlines, one being on the Red Sea coast and the other being the Persian Gulf coast. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest state in the Arab world, with a reported population of 33,413,660 as of 2018. , In 2018, it was reported that the religious police had stopped enforcing the ban on Christians religious services anywhere in the Kingdom whether publicly or privately, and for the first time, a "documented Christian service" was openly conducted.  News agencies such as Alhurra, Saurress and the American performance-management consulting company Gallup have reported that 5–9% of the Saudi Arabian citizenry are atheists. Thanks partly to the government’s policies promoting large families and partly to its large investment in health care, the country’s birth rate is well above the world average. In 2017, the population of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was about 32.55 million, compared to 31.47 million according to the demographic survey of 2016, with an average annual growth rate of 2.52 per cent, according to the General Authority for Statistics.. Religion of Saudi Arabia Research Papers In the Religion of Saudi Arabia, the foundation for the idea of justice is provided by the coherence and consonance that marks all the Universe, arranges the parts of … Is Mecca the capital of Saudi Arabia? George [Joshua] had just celebrated mass in a private house when seven religious policemen (muttawa) broke into the house together with two ordinary policemen. According to scholar Bernard Lewis, the Saudi Arabian policy of excluding non-Muslim from permanent residence in the Arabian peninsula is a continuation of an old and widely accepted Muslim policy: The classical Arabic historians tell us that in the year 20 after the hijra (Muhammad's move from Mecca to Medina), corresponding to 641 of the Christian calendar, the Caliph Umar decreed that Jews and Christians should be removed from Arabia to fulfill an injunction Muhammad uttered on his deathbed: "Let there not be two religions in Arabia." Saudi Arabia hopes tourism dollars will contribute 10% of its GDP by 2030. Once fault is determined, a Muslim receives all of the amount of compensation determined, a Jew or Christian half, and all others a sixteenth.  No law requires residents to be Muslim, however, public worship by adherents of religions other than Islam is forbidden. For many reasons, non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the holy cities although some Western non-Muslims have been able to enter, disguised as Muslims.. Listed below are items related to Saudi Arabia. assassinated by a Saudi commando in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, argued that things were actually getting much worse than before. , Disbelief in God is a capital offense in the kingdom.  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