Saudi Arabia has deported 27 Christians for having a service in their home to mark the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven, according to news reports.
The deportation was carried out because the Christians’ prayers were “unIslamic”, according to EWTN.
The women, some of whom had children with them, argued unsuccessfully that because the Koran esteems Mary, their prayers should not be seen as insulting.
In 2006 the Saudi government pledged to stop interfering with private worship of non-Muslims.
Christians make up about three per cent of the population of Saudi Arabia, where churches are banned and apostasy is a capital offence.