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Saudia Arabia, Vatican Agree on Building First-Ever Churches in Muslim Kingdom

Saudia Arabia, Vatican Agree on Building First-Ever Churches in Muslim Kingdom”

Muslim pilgrims walk around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia on May 4.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdel Karim Al-Issa of the Muslim World League and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, allegedly signed the agreement April 14, according to the Egyptian Independent.

As a result of the visit, Tauran signed an accord with the Muslim World League, a government-backed body responsible for spreading the Wahhabi form of Islam that is prevalent in the Gulf kingdom. Saudi Kingdom is the only country in the Middle East without churches.

In wake of wide Saudi Arabian cultural and social global openness, for the first time in the country's history it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Vatican to build churches for Christian citizens to advocate the important role of religions and cultures in renouncing violence, extremism, terrorism and achieving security and stability in the world.

While the text of the agreement has not been widely circulated, the only confirmed detail from Rome's own official sources is that Saudi and Vatican delegations will stage regular inter-religious summits. The parties also agreed to establish a coordinating Committee to organize future meetings.

Nonetheless, these talks did not lead to an agreement providing for the building of churches to care for the needs of Christians in Saudi Arabia, according to the Vatican's spokesman.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud has recently brought about a lot of radical changes within the oil-rich nation and he apparently doesn't plan to stop anytime soon.

The cardinal has visited Saudi Arabia this year and met the royal family, urging the Muslim country to treat its citizens equally.



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