August 6, 2012
The 35 Ethiopians were imprisoned last December 17 for conducting a prayer meeting in a private home.
"We understand that the Saudi's assaulted, harassed, and pressured the Christians to convert to Islam during the time of their incarceration," says International Christian Concern's Jonathan Racho.
According to Racho, the female prisoners were especially mistreated and humiliated.
After International Christian Concern launched a campaign to free the Christians, the Saudis changed their message several times, claiming the Ethiopians were mixing with the opposite gender and were engaged in human trafficking.
"They deceive the international community by claiming that they want to promote tolerance between Muslims, Christians, Jews and others," says the organization's spokesman, "but in fact, the Saudis are one of the most Christian-persecuting countries in the world. [In addition] the Saudis also export a radical form of Islam and thereby fuel persecution of Christians elsewhere."
International Christian Concern is pleased their campaign to free the Ethiopian Christians finally worked -- but Racho says what remains is a total intolerance of other faiths on Saudi soil.