Can we practice a religion in Saudi Arabia other than Islam?

Saudi Arabia is the most important Muslim country that is specifically known for its religious monuments including mosques and mainly the origin of the most important religion ‘Islam’. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia citizens take their religion VERY seriously and by ‘seriously’ I mean very SERIOUSLY!

In Saudi Arabia, if one Muslim has abandoned Islam the price for it is death sentence/killed.  I may have scared most of you right at the beginning of this read but my main agenda was to enlighten you all with the truth.

Is it allowed to practice other religions in Saudi Arabia?

On many occasions and on many forums, I have to think and observe a question repeatedly that asks whether Saudi Arabia allows other religions to be followed or practiced within it. Before I could start thinking about the possibilities I had to do a lot of digging and ask many of my family friends and relatives who have visited or are residing in Saudi Arabia.

The same answer came repeatedly and that was not a simple “Yes” or ‘NO’. Saudi Arabia does not allow other religions to be followed publicly. There is no problem if you are following any religion within yourself at your home individually.

They are not allowed to hold religious gatherings or establish churches. If you are practicing any religion within yourself, no one is going to take any action against you. There is a vast population of Non-Muslim expatriates living in Saudi Arabia. They are not asked any question if they are practicing their religion within themselves.

Why Saudi Arabia does not allow practicing other religions?

The reason being is that Islam originated from these grounds only. On these grounds are the biggest, oldest and most Holy Mosques of all time and it would be unethical and be a sort of hypocrisy to support other religions when the people of Saudi Arabia are the face of Islam.

I personally abide by the fact that they are doing whatever it takes to support and carry forward teaching of their Prophet from thousands of years ago. Without these certain steps, I may not be able to picture Islam to be as prominent as it is now. Non-Muslims are not even allowed to enter Makkah.

We have also compiled a “List of Prohibited Items to bring (Import) in Saudi Arabia”. Some of these items are related to religion. For example, it is not allowed to bring the Bible in Saudi Arabia. 

For the latest updates, you can join our WhatsApp group.

Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.