While churches are strictly forbidden in Saudi Arabia and converting to Christianity is punishable by death, God continues to bless the Body of Christ in this closed country. The story of the Indian migrant Jaywant show how God’s work continues, even under extreme pressure.
Saudi Arabia is the heartland of Islam and home of Mecca, the most holy city for Muslims. All the 19 million Saudi nationals are considered Muslims by law. There are estimations that only a roomful of them are secretly Christian. If it came out that any of them had converted, their lives would be at risk not only from the government; their families might kill them and get away with it unpunished.
About one million of the eight million migrant workers in Saudi Arabia are considered Christians. They have to meet in secret and cannot evangelize publicly. Within the networks of migrant workers they are able to share the love of Christ and touch people’s lives in often miraculous ways.
Jaywant, a nominal Hindu from the heart of India, moved to Saudi Arabia a few years ago to earn a living, leaving his wife and children at home for the time. Within the Indian migrant community, Jaywant quickly gained a notorious reputation for being active in various forms of mischief. He also entered a relationship with a woman in Saudi, acting unfaithfully to his wife and children at home.
“Then, one of our believers invited him to come to a secret meeting,” an Indian Christian working secretly in Saudi Arabia recalls.
“I will come to the meeting, but only once,” Jaywant had responded. He kept his word and showed up for the meeting. And there, while worshipping, Jaywant came to faith in Jesus.
He left the meeting amazed by the manifestation of God in his life. In response, he began to change his lifestyle. “Through counseling, he quit his addictions and ended the relationship with his mistress,” shared the Christian worker. “Though difficult, he was able to reach out to his wife in India and ask for her forgiveness.”
*Representative names and photo to protect persecuted Christians