Saudi Arabia has essentially no separation between religion and government. Their citizens enjoy little religious freedom. Its constitution lacks the type of guarantees found in the U.S. and Canadian constitutions. The country is under a particularly repressive interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which forbids Christian worship, literature, wearing of crosses, owning Bibles etc, anywhere in the country. Other non-Islamic religions are similarly oppressed. Some events which demonstrate this religious intolerance:
-Early 1990s: Christian religious services in the American Embassy were terminated at the Saudi government's request.
-Two expatriates living in Saudi Arabia were arrested on 1998-JUN-6 for hanging 500 packets of Christian literature on house doorknobs. The Muttawah (Saudi religious police) subsequently raided a number of homes and arrested 10 more Christians.
-Out of fear, about 400 Christian house churches have stopped meeting. They were primarily attended by expatriates, mostly Filipinos. Steve Snyder of International Christian Concern said: "There is a silent, mutually understood moratorium on all gatherings in the country...They are staying underground."
-The Saudi government controls much of the Internet in their country. They do not permit their citizens to view this web site, or a number of other Internet sites devoted to religious freedom and tolerance.
-Their Ministry of Commerce is forbidden from registering trademarks for products whose images are in the form of a cross, a star of David or a Buddha statue.
-In late 2003, the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (APVPV) cracked down on stores selling flowers, candles or gifts for New Year's Eve. Only two holidays can be celebrated in the country: the Muslim observances of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.
-Prior to 2003-DEC, the government banned imports of female dolls and stuffed animals. This was apparently in order to discourage citizens from celebrating Christmas.