Bibles Still Banned in Saudi Arabia
If you're still trying to decide on the best place to take a late summer vacation, Saudi Arabia wants your business. In fact, Middle East Times reports that the Saudi "supreme commission for tourism recently set a goal of 1.5 million visitors annually by 2020, and enacted changes to encourage tourism like longer-term and group visas." If you do decide to sample Saudi hospitality, however, be sure to leave your Bible at home. The Jerusalem Post explains why:
Despite a series of initiatives aimed at generating foreign tourism, the Saudi Arabian government continues to bar Jews and Christians from bringing items such as Bibles, crucifixes and Stars of David into the country and is threatening to confiscate them on sight, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
"A number of items are not allowed to be brought into the kingdom due to religious reasons and local regulations," declares the Web site of Saudi Arabian Airlines, the country's national carrier.
After informing would-be visitors that items such as narcotics, firearms and pornography may not be transported into the country, the Web site adds: "Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are also prohibited. These may include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others."
I eagerly await the onslaught of international criticism of the Saudi regime's Christophobia and Judeophobia.