Area: 2,240,000 sq km
The main portion of the Arabian Peninsula; almost entirely desert, but contains 25% of the world’s known oil reserves.
Population: 26,245,969 Annual Growth: 2.14%
Official language: Arabic Languages: 20 All languages
Largest Religion: Muslim
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Christian expatriates live under strict surveillance; even meeting in homes as a group of believers is forbidden. Those caught can be subjected to humiliating beatings, imprisonment, expulsion and even execution. This is particularly so for Asian Christians who are often the most effective witnesses and whose governments have the least international influence. Sadly, most Christians are nominal and few practice faithfully, although many more would join them were the risks not so great. Pray for encouragement, strength, wisdom and courage for the believing community. There are few opportunities to meaningfully interact with Saudis, and very few expatriates speak Arabic. Pray that other Arabs might gain a burden to reach Saudis.
Witnessing by other means:
a) Saudis abroad. Students, businessmen and tourists visit the West and other more open Arab states, where they can be reached. Most prefer to travel during the hot season and the month of fasting!
b) Christian radio. HCJB, IBRA and others broadcast in Arabic and in several languages of expat communities. Many listen secretly, yielding isolated converts in some regions.
c) Christian literature and video materials are banned, including the Bible and are therefore in great demand. Scriptures in different formats and films such as the JESUS film and The Passion of the Christ do a brisk business on the black market.
d) Satellite television. About 90% of homes have satellite television, an indication of thehunger for what the outside world offers. In this environment, Christian television such as SAT-7, The Bible Channel, al-Hayat, the Miracle Channel and numerous other Christian Arabic- and English-language channels can be used tremendously to bring Saudis to Jesus.
e) The Internet is accessible to the majority of the population, but the government blocks and monitors traffic. Pray that those in the country would be able to access the many evangelistic, discipling and discussion sites on the web.
For an additional 7 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Saudi Arabia.