Saudis arrest Filipino Catholics at Mass

Over this weekend let’s pray for Catholics throughout the world who are persecuted for their beliefs:

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi police raided a secret Catholic mass in Riyadh last week and arrested a dozen Filipinos and a Catholic priest, charging them with prosyletising, a local daily reported on Wednesday.

The raid took place as some 150 Filipinos were attending the mass in a Riyadh rest house on Friday, the second day of the weekend in Saudi Arabia, Arab News said.

The twelve Filipino men and the priest, whose nationality was not specified, were “charged with prosyletising,” the daily quoted an official from the Philippine embassy in Riyadh as saying.

They were all released Sunday on guarantees by sponsors or embassies, the report said.

Saudi Arabia bans the practice of any religion aside from Islam. However, small, low-key prayer services inside expatriate compounds and in Filipino gatherings are tolerated by officials. [GBI]

And let’s say a quick prayer of thanksgiving that we live in a country that believes in religious freedom.

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49 thoughts on “Saudis arrest Filipino Catholics at Mass

  1. Kuya O (Cadenas) says:

    To Thomas Peters,

    I think, it is about time you should amend your news item now that the facts are corrected as per my report to you. Letting it as is will only gather more negative vibes against KSA, as probably not all are reading the comments (as important as my own report/comments), they just jump to your news item and thereby comment.

    Because it is disorienting and it alarming, and besides it’s not fair to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia if your original posting is not corrected.

    With my love and prayers from the Arabian Desert. Kuya O

  2. [...] Church you sometimes wonder if you would have the same courage as them. Nobody has to wonder about these folks: Saudi police raided a secret Catholic mass in Riyadh last week and arrested a dozen Filipinos and [...]

    1. Kuya O (Oscar M. Cadenas) says:

      Thanks for appreciating the courage. A lot of us even with the number of years working in KSA have still mixed feelings whether to be brave or not to attend the Holy Eucharist. But it is more than courage, because the moment we know, our steps are leading to our underground church to hear mass. It is divine grace that emboldens us to go on.

      Please be corrected as I have earlier posted, that there were no arrest whatsoever.

      Thanks for all your concern. I think its about time to celebrate the Memorial of our Salvation with shouts of joy because now there is a reason not to be concerned with practicing our faith with the change of attitude by KSA.

      Our prayers for this religious tolerance has been answered!

      In Christ through Mother Mary,
      Kuya O

  3. jan says:

    The essence of political or any freedom lies in its contingency.
    It depends on answering to a higher covenant, a plane higher, if you will. THIS IS AXIOMATIC, CRUCIAL TO UNDERSTAND. Our bill of rights, yea, even the Declaration, the demise of slavery as an accepted practice: all were contingent upon a culture that the more squeamish call Western Civ, but we precisely and properly call two millenia of Christendom’s developing victory over ancient(and yet-vestigial)pagan worldviews, including tyranny. And this originates in the prime cause and leveler of all men under piety, the Eucharist.
    How regrettable that such a surfeit of modern women will not acknowledge the source of their freedom in that, failing to understand even today — looking at the cult of Islam–how more blessed they are as inheritresses of Christ’s legacy vs. the lot of their sisters under the sword of sharia.
    Same goes for slavery, widespread in Islam to this day. It is NOT on that higher pietistic plane and can never be allowed such an equivalent station. Forced submission has for 14 centuries been the M.O. of the undocumented prophet’s legacy: intolerance of all that is unapproved by the ruling elite. Ergo, a cult. So think back; be warmed by the blessings of liberty that have come d own to us from Him to whom all thanks and piety is due.
    FREEDOM!!!!

    BTW: no matter how hard you push the envelope, it still remains stationery. Jes’ messin’ with ya…

  4. Oscar M. Cadenas says:

    My Dear Tom Peters & All,

    I issued this correction inorder to clarify some very important development here in KSA, and to deny the authenticity of all that was said by your report.

    According to my close friend, who was actually there when raided last October 1st, the report by GMA News (Philippine news blog) which I quoted earlier as the news source and now yours was incorrect.

    It was true that the Mottawa, Religious Police raided the place at the time during the Offertory. Men, women and children were present, so they were caught with the usual religious attire, and people were solemnly praying. They asked politely and police were told it was a religious prayer, and a party. Of course the police knew it was religious because of the priest attire, and the air of solemnity. After they were asked on the spot for about 30 minutes including the 12 mentioned, they were left in the venue without any arrests, neither issued documents/citations of breaking the religious law of the kingdom. Nobody was imprisoned, never ever.

    Media picked up the story without verifying, thus that piece of unreliable news.

    Insights of the event: the Mottawa and the Kingdom in general has remarkably been tolerant at present of prayer groups even in big gathering such as the incident, provided of course it is done privately. We believe that the Holy Father in the Holy See and the World Leaders have been in contact with KSA, a negotiation which we understood happening for a good number of years since, in regard to the religious tolerance in the land, especially KSA is in the process of becoming a member of the World Trade Organization which demands religious tolerance.

    Action taken: In view of what happened, activities of this type have been reduced awhile to allow the heat to subside and avoid provocation to the authorities. Practising Christians are now thankful to the King and the mottawa for their change of heart towards us. The strong attitude before of incarcerating non-muslims is to us by now a thing of the past.

    Who must have reported it? I think it is the Jude who sold Christ for 30 silver, but to the organizers, they were sold at a price which is a blessing in disguise to enable non-Muslims to check the temperature of the water. It sure is a good time to now pray without being harrassed, arrested or imprisoned providing of course we do it in the most appropriate way not to scandalize the religious status quo. Oftentimes, God according to the conviction of my friend has a way of using some untoward incidents and uses people that His Will be done in the right time, and right place, and to continuously reveal His Plan.

    Now the more I personally believe, one day we will have a new Church Building in the place which St. Paul stayed for 3 years after his conversion in Damascus, before he proceeded with his ministry. This envisioned building will be open to all Christians which the Kingdom will one day allow to come together to worship freely. I say, a new church building, because don’t you know that there are ruins of Christian church buildings in the kingdom, which the authorities are keeping it away from public view? I happened to witness one here in Jubail before the authorities completely isolated the building from curious onlookers.

    Praise the Lord, for he is good. Thanks for the mantle of maternal protection from our Loving Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Grace of Jesus Christ for us to persevere in our faith even in the midst of impossibilities. Let us cooperate with the Divine Grace to enable us to do the Will of the Father, in the Word of His Son.

    Please continue to pray for us Foreign Workers and Christian at that and of course to our Muslim brothers and sisters in KSA and the whole world.

    Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin in our heart.

    Love&prayers from the Arabian Desert,
    Kuya O
    Saudi Arabia

    P.S. I saw you in EWTN last night, 10Oct10 as we are able to get the EWTN broadcast in KSA about your papist.com and I just tried now, and to my surprise again this unreliable news. I immediately copied my earlier advice to some of my friends for your readers info. Best regards, O

  5. Antonio P Dias says:

    I’d like to watch this news on CNN, Fox and others channels. Where is the reciprocity among countries when it comes to churches and mosques?

  6. Victress Jenkins says:

    Contact your senators & congressmen/women and ask that when they’re dealing with foreign aid appropriations that maybe it’s time to stop being so generous with the Saudi Government and also let’s get weaned for their oil. Our president & secretary of state should be chastised for turning a “blind eye” when it comes to protesting to these Islamist governments about freedom of religion.

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