Roman Catholicism in Saudi Arabia

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Roman Catholicism in Saudi Arabia is officially barred from being practiced, though Roman Catholics are allowed into the country for temporary work. There is a large expatriate Filipino community in Saudi Arabia, many of whom are thought to be Catholics. There are no dioceses in Saudi Arabia, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia.

Saudi Arabia allows Roman Catholics and Christians of other denominations to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practise their faith openly, and as a result Roman Catholics and Christians of other denominations generally only worship in secret within private homes.[1] Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are prohibited.[2] These include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols, and others, although the Government's stated policy was that such items were allowed for private religious purposes.

The Saudi Arabian Mutaween (Arabic: مطوعين), or Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice prohibits the practice of any religion other than Islam.[3] Conversion of a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy. The Government does not permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services.[4]

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