Earlier this week the Pope met with the King of Saudi Arabia. Their conversation included discussion about the treatment and tolerance of Christian people living in Saudia Arabia. The issue is one of increasing importance because it is thought that Christians will soon become the majority in at least one arabian state, and are increasingly present in Saudi Arabia as well.
The site Chiesa online has a series of articles about the effect this is having:
"Three months ago to the day, on May 31, the Holy See established diplomatic relations and exchanged ambassadors with the United Arab Emirates.
Few noted the fact that the United Arab Emirates has the greatest Christian presence of any Islamic country.
And it is a new and growing presence. Exactly the opposite of what is happening in other regions in the Middle East like Iraq, Lebanon, the Holy Land, where Christian communities of very ancient origin actually face extinction.
The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain – situated along the middle of the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The capital is Abu Dhabi. Almost all of the citizens belong to the official religion, Islam.
But there are many more immigrants than citizens. Foreigners now make up more than 70 percent of the more than 4 million inhabitants, coming from other Arab countries, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines.
More than half of these foreign workers are Christians. Adding up the figures, Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population of the United Arab Emirates. Around a million of them are Catholic. And it's not only in the UAE – in Saudi Arabia, too, it is estimated that there are already about a million Catholics from the Philippines. "
Read the rest here.