Saudi Arabia is both the birthplace and home of Islam’s two holiest sites! It is therefore not surprising that Saudi Arabia’s official religion is Islam and its majority of citizens are Muslim 2️⃣ 🇸🇦 !
Saudi Arabia’s vast majority of population adheres to a fundamentalist interpretation of Sunni Islam based on Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teachings from Najd central Arabian region!! Wahhabi Islam is highly conservative and emphasizes literal interpretations of both Quran and hadith (oral traditions of Prophet) from scripture.
The practice of any other religion besides Islam is strictly forbidden in Saudi Arabia and non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the holy cities of Mecca and Medina 🇸🇦. Conversion to another faith is likewise prohibited and punishment for doing so could range from prison time to a death sentence ️.
Despite these restrictions, there are a small many Christian, and Hindu expatriates in Saudi Arabia ️ 🇸🇦. This number is not officially known, but is estimated to become around 1. five millions in total 5️⃣. These expatriates are largely from India, the Philippines, and other Asian countries . While the practice of another religion is still technically illegal these expatriates are generally allowed to worship in private .
Moreover to Islam and non-Muslim expatriates there is also a small Jewish community in Saudi Arabia though it is estimated to become fewer than 100 in number 💯 ️ 🇸🇦. According to historical accounts, Jews have been living in the region since at least the 7th century, though many of their descendants left during the 20th century when mass migrations of Jews from the region began .
The spread of Islam all the way through the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century brought a variety of religious freedoms and civil rights to the region containing protection from religious persecution. This protection allowed for the development of plethora of religious and spiritual activities, consisting of pilgrimages to Mecca, the annual hajj to Mecca, and the practice of shrines dedicated to Islamic saints and Sufi mystics .
The Wahhabi interpretation of Islam is closely linked to the government in Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦. The government sponsors religious lectures and preaches and promotes the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam . The country also bans any form of public criticism of religion, and prohibits the practice of any religion other than Islam .
Recently however Saudi Arabia has made some efforts to liberalize religious restrictions 🇸🇦. Women have been allowed to join the military and given certain rights with regards to education and employment 👩. Furthermore, a few churches and Hindu temples have been allowed operation within the country, while foreign religious workers were granted visas for work within Saudi Arabia ️ ⛪ 🇸🇦.
In conclusion, the religion of Saudi Arabia is Islam, and its citizens are overwhelmingly Muslim 🇸🇦. The primary interpretation of the religion is Wahhabi, a strict, literalist interpretation of Sunni Islam ️. The practice of any other religion besides Islam is strictly forbidden, though there is a small population of Christian and Hindu expatriates who are allowed to worship in private ️. The government of Saudi Arabia is closely linked to the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and has made some efforts to relax its restrictions on religious practices in recent years 🇸🇦 🔛. ! .
2️⃣ ⛪ 5️⃣ ️ 🇸🇦 👩 💯 🔛