Saudi Arabia has deported 27 Lebanese Christians after they were found in possession of Bibles in their homes and were caught praying during the Virgin Mary festival.
The Saudi religious police arrested the Christians residing in the Al-Aziziyah in Mecca. The believers have been charged with conducting non-Islamic prayers. Children were also among the 27 Christians deported back to Lebanon, Al Masdar News details.
Saudi Arabia is still one of the countries in the world that are most intolerant of religion. Last week, the Middle East Eye (MEE) published a story about the country's restriction of all forms of non-Islamic worship in public, including Christian symbolism in school uniforms.
Saudi's religious police have ordered a Marks & Spencer outlet in the al-Hayat shopping center in Riyadh to cover the U.K. flag on the logo of the British International School uniform because it bears a representation of the Christian cross. A British expat told MEE that the staff at the store told her that the uniforms she wanted to buy were not on display at the storefront.
The school logo in question originally bears a palm tree with the British flag on one side and Saudi Arabia's flag on the other. However, when she requested to see the uniforms, she noticed that a patch of cloth was covering the U.K. flag.
In a statement issued to the MEE, a Marks & Spencer representative explained that they fully comply with the laws of Saudi Arabia, just like all other stores in the country. The spokeswoman added that the incident was an isolated one and that they are now selling the uniforms directly to the parents of the students at the British International School.
The regime of Saudi Arabia officially outlaws Christianity and other non-Islamic religions. Despite the situation, there are reportedly more than a million Roman Catholics staying in the country.