Holy See–Saudi Arabia relations

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Holy See-Saudi Arabia relations
Map indicating locations of Saudi Arabia and Vatican City

Saudi Arabia

Vatican City

Holy See–Saudi Arabia relations do not officially exist but there have been some important high-level meetings between Saudi and Holy See officials to discuss issues and organize dialogue between religions.

In November 2007, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visited the Vatican in a historic moment, which signaled an end to the 1,400-year-old chill in relations between Saudi Arab and Vatican leaders.[1]

Proposals have been made to build a church somewhere in Saudi Arabia, citing the ancient 7th century Najran Pact made by Muhammad to Christian residents of Arabia.[citation needed]

There are a large number of foreign workers that identify as Christian, and at present, they must cross a border to a surrounding country to find a church affiliated to the Roman Catholic church. Discussions have until now focused on the fair treatment of those foreign workers. This issue was given high priority in Pope Benedict XVI's address to the diplomatic corps in January 2011, where the Pope expressed the hope for a speedy establishment of a Catholic hierarchy within the kingdom.[2]

Country comparison[edit]

Official name   Vatican City State  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Native Name Status Civitatis Vaticanae (Latin)
Stato della Città del Vaticano (Italian)
المملكة العربية السعودية (Arabic)
Al-Mamlakah Al-ʾĀrabīyah As-Saʿūdīyah (Romanization)
Coat of Arms Coat of arms of the Vatican City.svg Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia.svg
National Anthem Pontifical Anthem and March Royal March
Population 1,000 33,000,000
Area 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi) 2,149,690 km2 (830,000 sq mi)
Population Density 2,272/km2 (5,880/sq mi) 15/km2 (39/sq mi)
Time zones 1 (Arabia Standard Time) 1 (Central European Time)
Capital Vatican City (City-state) Riyadh
Established 11 February 1929 23 September 1932
Government Ecclesiastical elective Theocracy, absolute monarchy Unitary Islamic absolute monarchy
State Religion Roman Catholicism Sunni Islam
First Leader Pius XI Abdulaziz Ibn Saud
Current Leader Sovereign: Francis King: Salman
Current Deputy Secretary of State: Pietro Parolin Crown Prince: Mohammad
Official language(s) Latin), Italian Arabic


  1. ^ "Historic Saudi visit to Vatican". BBC News. 6 November 2007. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps". Vatican.va. 10 January 2011. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 

See also[edit]