Tourists who display a Bible or take more than one into the country could face possible arrest in Saudi Arabia, according to the Barnabus Fund.
“The new regulations for tourists state that a Bible may be brought into the country provided it is for personal use only,” the statement said. “Bibles must not be displayed in public and anyone found bringing a large number of Bibles will face ‘severe penalties.’”
Saudi Arabia is a strict Islamist country that forbids anyone from converting to Christianity. Citizens discovered as Christians may face execution by the state for apostasy. Christians from other nations who live in the country worship privately at home at risk of being arrested or deported if caught.
In the early-to-mid 80s I worked for a defense contractor here locally that had a large job site in Saudi Arabia. We were one writing team out of a handful, and our editing HQ was on the beltway around DC.
The guys on-site in Riyadh would send us outrageous stories of items they'd managed to have their wives here in the states ship to them. I thought those guys were allowed to take a Bible in their luggage with them when they went from the US to the jobsite, but they had to keep that pretty quiet - personal use on their off time & no sharing it with the natives.
Still, this article sounds like the Saudis have decided to tolerate some western ways for the sake of tourist dollars. Women being allowed to travel without a man/men, and being able to wear "normal" clothes is real different. I have always thought the Saudi royal family was more westernized & better educated than most of the rest of Middle Eastern folks.
Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.