The Straits Times
Published on Sep 26, 2012

Liberal Muslims in Austria ask Saudi Arabia to build church


VIENNA (AFP) - A prominent Muslim group in Austria on Wednesday called on strictly Islamic Saudi Arabia to allow a church to be built there, arguing that Riyadh supported mosques in Catholic countries.

"The liberal Muslims hereby request the construction of a church in Saudi Arabia," the group said in a letter to Saudi ambassador Mohammed al-Salloum, asking him to pass this demand on to the "appropriate authorities" in Riyadh.

Countless diplomats, business people and workers in Saudi Arabia were Christians and unable to practise their faith, Mr Amer Albayati, President of the Initiative of Liberal Muslims in Austria (ILMOe), said in the letter.

"Saudi Arabia supports the construction of many mosques and thousands of prayer rooms in Christian countries like in Europe, both financially and organisationally," the Iraq-born journalist said.