In Saudi Arabia, a woman has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for social media posts. A terrorism court said she used the internet to tear the fabric of society and violate public order.
Her posts criticized leaders in the country. But independent investigators say nothing in the posts included violent material.
Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs USA says, “There was another woman jailed for 34 years earlier in August for activity on Twitter. Both are good reminders that even though Saudi Arabia is trying to present itself as reformed, new, and modern, there are still these draconian restrictions on the people.”
This move complicates Saudi Arabia’s already fraught relationship with the West. Nettleton says, “Whether it be Jamal Khashoggi, whether it be the treatment of women or the treatment of Christians, Saudi Arabia is not a free country. It is not a place where the human rights of every person are respected and upheld.”
How to pray
These challenges extend to converts from Sunni Islam to Christianity. But the persecution often comes first from their families.
Ask God to fill them with peace. Nettleton says, “The other specific prayer request is to pray for Christian women. Women are often isolated anyway because they’re women. And then, if you’re a Christian woman, you have even more isolation. In some cases, they don’t have a physical relationship with other Christians.”
“They may read the Bible online. They may watch satellite television that has a pastor who is discipling them and communicating to them.”