14:10 GMT28 January 2020
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    The Saudi government doesn't recognize worshipers' freedom to practice any religion other than Islam publicly and persecutes Shiites, according to the 2014 International Religious Freedom Report prepared by the US State Department.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Saudi Arabia limits the religious freedoms of non-Muslims and continues to persecute members of the Shia religious community, the US State Department stated in its 2014 International Religious Freedom Report on Wednesday.

    "The [Saudi] government did not recognize the freedom to practice publicly any non-Muslim religions," the report explained. "The government continued to target Shia clerics and activists for arrest and prosecution."

    Saudi Arabia, the report noted, sentenced to death at least one prominent Shia cleric and arrested several activists after they publicly criticized discrimination practices.

    "The government detained individuals on charges of violating Sharia, committing blasphemy, sowing discord in society and insulting Islam," the report added.

    Saudi Arabia has also restricted non-Muslim religious groups’ activities, both publicly and privately, according to the report.

    "The government permitted many foreign residents to privately worship within their homes or in other small gatherings," the report pointed out.

    Other private, non-Muslim religious meetings were raided and participants arrested, detained or deported, it said.


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    U.S. Department of State, religious freedom, United States, Saudi Arabia
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