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Catholic World News News Feature

Saudis said to choose against building a Catholic church March 25, 2008

The president of the Middle East Center for Strategic Studies, Anwatr al Oshqi, has reported that Saudi Arabia’s royal family has decided against building a Catholic church in the kingdom.

Earlier this month Vatican Radio reported that the Saudi government was weighing a proposal for the construction of a Catholic church. That report came as a surprise, since the Saudi regime does not allow public worship by any faith other than Islam.

In November 2007, when King Abdullah became the first reigning Saudi king ever to visit the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI urged him to allow the building of a Catholic church.

While it was not an official response to that request, Al Oshqi’s report carries considerable weight because it was made during a broadcast on the Al Arabiya news channel, which is owned by the Saudi royal family.

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