Example Of Major Religions In The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia Essay
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Integration of Faith
Integration of Faith
The paper religion integration of faith bases its research in Saudi Arabia. The paper analyzes the formation of the state and the various religious groups that are in the kingdom. The article covers the different ways of the people of the kingdom live according to their religious beliefs. It also expands on the challenges that Christian go through while living there. The paper also gives us a brief introduction to the creation history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its early inhibitors. Finally, the paper looks at various ways in which Christians can cope with the challenges that face them in the kingdom.
Introduction: Saudi Arabia
The official name of the nation of Saudi Arabia is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is approximately 830000 square miles. It is the largest Arab country in Western Asia by land. It constitutes the vast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is second to Algeria when naming the biggest Arab state in the world. The state is boarded by a number of other Arab countries to its boards, to the southeast it is bordered by Oman. Jordan and Iran are borders to the north, to the north east is Kuwait, the south its neighbor to Yemen while the east has the Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
The nation has two coasts, one of the red sea, and the other of the Persian Gulf. It is the only nation with two coasts. Its geographical location formally had four regions each distinct from the other. The districts were southern Arabian also known as ‘Asir, eastern Arabia referred to as Al-Hasa, Najd and Hejaz respectively.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after the conquests came into existence in 1932. Ibn Saud founded the kingdom; it took him a series of wars. To unite the four regions conquests became the other of the day. The first conquest was in 1902 when Saud captured his ancestral home Riyadh the house Saud. The conquests were the beginning of an absolute monarchy that has since been the way of life in the state. The state follows along Islamic lines that form the majority of the population (Ali, 2009).
Saudi Arabia has the two of the holiest places in the community of Islam. Hence, the state is at times referred to as the land of the two holy mosques. It is home to Al-Masjid al-Haram that in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina. Saudi Arabia has a total population of approximately 28.7 million, twenty million of whom are of Saudi origins and eight million who are foreigners.The nation is famous it’s the world leading producer of oil as well it is also the leading exporter. In addition to that it also controls the second largest reserve of hydrocarbon in the world. Oil being the primary product the nation has, it has the least diversified economy in the GCC. The returns from the export, however, are a major booster to the economy of the state as it is among the highest income economy states. This fact puts the kingdom as the only Arab state included in the G-20 economies.
Freedom House ranks the nation as not free because of the authoritarian regime that rules it. In the world, it is ranked with the fourth-highest military expenditure. Amongst international organization, the Kingdom is a member of a number of agencies including Gulf Cooperation Council, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC). Saudi Arabia’s official language is Arabic. There are three main regional distinctions. About 6 million of the Saudis speak Hejaz Arabic; 8 million speak Nejd Arabic while two hundred thousand speak Gulf Arabic. For the deaf community, the principle language is the Saudi sign language.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has seven different leaders so far. The first was King Abdul Aziz. His successor was his son King Saud. The history of the rulers has never changed as the seat moves between the children of King Aziz. It is a hereditary system.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocracy. It is an Islamic state. Sunni of the Hanbali School is the official form of Islam in the region. The form is a version of Salafi. Official records show that almost ninety percent of the populations of the Saudi citizens are of Sunni Muslims. The other small percentage belongs to another version of Islam that is the Shia.
Although there is another form of Ahmadi Muslims whose number is unknown. The other population summing up to almost 1.5 million people are Christians most of whom are foreigners who come to work in the state.
Sunni Islam is the second largest religious organization; it comes from Christianity in the world. They believe that followers of their prophet Muhammad were the best version of Muslims. The followers are also regarded as true believers as they have the task of compiling the Holy Quran. The followers too among the Muslim community are considered to be the second source of knowledge to lead their people. Islam religion does not have a formal system of leadership. Their leaders are informal, and study of the Islamic ways is crucial to influencing among the Muslim community (Bronson, 2005).
Anyone that is seen to have the intelligence and willingness to acquire knowledge can become a scholar of the religion. It is a tradition of the Sunni Muslims that during Friday services in the mosque that the members presents will choose one to lead the service according to their status in education, the leader is called the imam. The Islamic law that governs them is the Sharia.There are a number of traditions found within the Islamic law referred to as legal schools. They all have different points of views regarding the ways of the Muslim people. The schools have a history of conflict, but they all stand for the same things the difference comes in perception (Khan & Ahmad, 2014).
Christianity is the world number one religious group. Most of the world’s population is Christians. Christian teachings are very different from those of which the Muslim teachers teach their own. Unlike the Muslim it is not punishable to anyone who seeks to convert to any other religion. For the Sunni Muslims, it’s either them or no other religion hence the recent death penalty passed in the state. Unlike the Muslims, who follow the sharia Christians have the Ten Commandments that they follow in their daily lives.Christians believe that their God send his only son to come and save them from sin, but the islands have the prophet Mohammed. For their salvation from sin the son of God who is Jesus died, and his disciples buried Him and he resurrected on the third day and is now sitting on the right hand of his Father in heaven (Psalms 3:3, New International Version).
Christians have their holy worship day on Sundays, unlike the Muslims, who have their service on Fridays of every week. Sunday services for Christians, it is either the bishop or a reverend or a pastor that leads the service. For Catholics, there has a father who drives the mass.Those who lead the mass are not selected by the congregation but the leaders of the church. The selection of one to lead the church service does not depend on the individual’s intellectual level but rather their spiritual prowess. Christians receive a calling from God (2 Corinthians 5:17, New International Version).
Impact of challenges in Saudi Arabia on a Christian Manager
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there is no existence of such thing as religious freedom. The laws of the state prohibit any other religion in the country as it is an Islamic theocracy. The law states that all citizens of the kingdom must be Muslims.It gets worse to be a Christian in the region as the government that is support to protect its people prohibits any other acts in public that are not of Islamic nature (Hendon & Hines, 2013). That is no any other religious acts in public.There are so many challenges that face the Christian population living in Saudi Arabia. Recently as stated earlier passed law that gives the death penalty to any person seen carrying or smuggling a Bible into the country, it is considered and act against the state, treason. How can one then spread the word of God with that which contains his spoken words and commandments?The last words of the Son of man to his disciples, when he was ascending into heaven, were telling them to go and spread the word, the good news. A Christian in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cannot then follow that which the Bible tells them as it is an offense if anyone is seen practicing other religions in public. Christians are forced to worship in hiding for the sake of their lives (Chickrie, 2011).
Recent news tells of 151 Ethiopian Christian who were jailed in the state for holding prayers. The officer in charge says that his officers caught them in the acts involving sex activities that are words that shield the truth from the rest of the population. If one is being jailed just for praying in hiding what will happen to those who seek to pray in public.A Christian manager is supposed to lead his folk to the right path, but then he has nothing to use as a tool to spread the gospel. To spread the message was intended to convert none believers of Christ to believers, it becomes difficult for Christian managers to save none believers for the people fear for their lives in the state. It is against the laws of the sharia for any members of their religion to convert to any other religion, sentenced to the death penalty if one is found guilty of that particular offense (Judges 5:1, New International Version).
Christians are forced to hide and not spread the word of God. They rendered helpless as they are not allowed to build their places of worship, with no churches their services to their creator is impossible. There is fear that the Christian in the state cannot even have children as a member of the Christian fraternity discrimination is the order of the day. They cannot walk out in the public as they are afraid they are being watched, or they will go to jail for choosing to serve Christ. The faith of the Christians living in the region is at threat; they have no one to fight for them to protract them.
As the Bible says, even the son of man the devil tested him. The devil took Him into the desert and tested his faith in which he failed miserably; Christians' faith too is put to test. It is not to weaken their faith in God but instead it is meant to strengthen their faith. Just as Jesus triumphed, Christian took have the responsibility of dealing with the difficulties that face them in Israel and never give up (Alhomoudi, 2010).
How Christian Leaders Address Challenges Facing them in Saudi Arabia
Leadership by example is very crucial to the growth of Christianity in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Church leaders must show they folks the ways of Christ. Christianity is not about just believing that Jesus Christ exists, but it is also shown by our character, all Christian, must practice the gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2, English Standard Version). It is a great challenge Christians living in the kingdom. Organizations are being formed by believers and none believers in the state with the only purpose of protecting the Christians in the state international organizations to have dived in to offer their support all crying for freedom of Christians.
Christian managers with the intended of surviving in a region full of Muslims they need all the help they can get. They should form religious organizations that can protect them.There are so many challenges that face them. As mentioned above each day keeps getting worse for the Christian family in Saudi Arabia. For the survival of the religion influential church leader are needed.It does not end with being called a Christian; one must follow all the virtues that were taught by Jesus Christ. Church leaders must live by example. For the believers to address all the mentioned issues, they must unite together (2 Samuel 22:1, New International Version).
The first challenge that the managers should address is the freedom of worship. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has formed laws against formation of any other religion in the state. Church leaders must find a way through which either their join the government or get representatives into the government.Through the government they will be part of the system that makes the laws; this will give them an opportunity they seek to make changes in the laws that condemn them. It will also give them the chance to voice their opinions to the public. With a government that has some elements of Christianity them, all Christians will have nothing to fear.
The other issue they should address is formation of nongovernmental organizations. The groups will form a font that will fight for all Christians in the state. The saying two heads are better than one applies to this situation. Rather that fighting as individuals for their rights, Christian leaders should all come together and form a formidable group. The organization will fight for the rights of all the people in the state.In addition to the methods addressed, the leaders should also involve the international justice system to help them fight for their rights. Every citizen has the freedom to worship disregard less of their religion. Acts such as the death penalty imposed on Christians are actions against humanity. The International Justice system will then ensure that Christian and all other citizens get protection in the kingdom. If the people get assurance of protection, then no one will be afraid to worship anywhere at any time.
The final issue is the idea of togetherness. Christian leaders should ensure that their congregation is working together. They are fighting for the same cause. It is written in the Bible that where two or more are gather in my name I shall manifest myself; God has promised to work with them if they stick together. They should living according to the teachings of Christ. Show others why they should convert to Christianity. If the leaders address all the mentioned issues, Saudi Arabia will be a better place for Christians to live.
2 Cor. 5:17 New International Version
2 Sam. 22:1New International Version
Alhomoudi, F. A. (2010). Muslim-Christian Relationship from the Perspective of King Abdullah's Interfaith Dialogue Initiatives: Current Challenges and Possibilities. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 45(2), 288-295.
Ali, A. J. (2009). Conducting business in Saudi Arabia: A brief for international managers. Global Business & Organizational Excellence, 28(6), 64-84.
Bronson, R. (2005). Rethinking Religion: The Legacy of the U.S.-Saudi Relationship. Washington Quarterly, 28(4), 121-137.
Chickrie, R. S. (2011). Muslims in Suriname: Facing Triumphs and Challenges in a Plural Society. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 31(1), 79-99.
Hendon, D. W., & Hines, J. (2013). Notes on Church-State Affairs. Journal of Church & State, 55(3), 598-611.
Jud. 5:1New International Version
Khan, S., & Ahmad, M. (2014). Looking Within and Without: The Path to Tread By Muslims. Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, 13(1/2), 21-40.
Psa. 3:3New International Version
Rom. 12:2 New International Version
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