August 4, 1999

Saudi Arabia most repressive
___WASHINGTON (BP)--Saudi Arabia is the world's most repressive country for Christians, according to a new report by an organization that ministers to the persecuted church.
___Open Doors International rated the Middle East regime first in a top 10 list dominated by Islamic-controlled countries. Saudi Arabia easily outdistanced all other countries for the top spot with a rating of 81.5 in the July report.
___The other top 10 members, in order with point totals, are Afghanistan, 72.5; Sudan, 70; China, 69; Yemen, 66.5; Morocco, 64; Iran, 63; Libya, 62.5; Tunisia, 62; and Egypt, 60.
___Congress recently has targeted Sudan for special attention.
___On July 27, Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., introduced the Sudan Peace Act in an attempt, with bipartisan support, to change the United States' policy toward the East African country. The bill calls for wider distribution of food outside the United Nations system; an improved peace process to end a lengthy civil war that escalated a decade ago; human rights monitors; a registry of names of the women and children sold into slavery; and implementation of the current sanctions system established by the president.
___Earlier this summer, the Senate voted as part of the Foreign Operations spending bill to give humanitarian aid to the southern Sudanese through organizations not affiliated with the National Islamic Front government in Khartoum.
___Sudan's Islamic regime also was singled out for special condemnation in resolutions by both houses.
___The complete list is available at Open Doors International's website,
___Reports on persecution, as well as links to other organizations dealing with the issue, are available at the Internet site of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. The address is

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