Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Raises Concerns Over Religious Freedom for Christians in Talks With Saudi Crown Prince

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, met with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz in Lambeth Palace, and said he had a “cordial and honest” discussion on religious freedom for Christians.

“The archbishop shared his concern about limits placed on Christian worship in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and highlighted the importance for leaders of all faiths to support freedom of religion or belief, drawing on the experience of the U.K.,” a Lambeth Palace spokeswoman said in a statement.

The hourlong meeting was also attended by the Bishops of Newcastle and Leeds, Christine Hardman and Nick Baines, according to Anglican News.

“As leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Archbishop shared the challenges and concerns of Anglicans from around the world, who often as a minority faith community have few advocates for freedom of religion or belief where they live,” the spokeswoman added. “He emphasized the crucial role that Saudi Arabia could play in protecting minorities across the world.”

The archbishop and Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” initiative, which is mainly aimed at reducing that country’s dependence on oil by diversifying its economy.

Saudi Arabia, a leading U.S. ally, claims that all its citizens are Muslim, mostly Sunni, but according to some estimates, about 1.5 million Christians, mostly foreigners, live in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism, which is described as “ultraconservative,” is the dominant form of Islam adhered to in the kingdom.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently announced several cultural reforms, including the lifting of a ban on women driving.

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Source: Christian Post