Saudi Arabia Shocks Western World With Its 81 Executions
Saudi Arabia shocked the Western World with a mass execution of 81 people on Saturday, March 11. They were allegedly convicted of crimes that ranged from killings to belonging to militant groups. The notoriety of this offense is that it is the largest mass execution carried out in the kingdom in modern history. The state-run agency said that the crimes included “the murdering of innocent men, women, and children.” It added that those executed were members of al-Qaida, which is the Islamic State group that are also backers of Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Saudi Arabia has been in a long-standing conflict with the Iran-backed group since 2015.
The group executed were mainly Saudis, but also included seven Yemenis and one Syrian. The Saudi Press Agency assured the public that “The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under The Saudi law during the judicial process, which found them guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes that left a large number of civilian and law enforcement officers dead.”
These executions did not come without criticism, including one from a London-based advocacy group: “The world should know by now that when Mohammed bin Salman promised reform, bloodshed is bound to follow.” The last mass execution was in January 2016 when 47 people were executed. In 2019, 37 Saudi citizens, mostly minority Shiites were executed for alleged terrorism-related crimes. Rights groups have accused Saudi Arabia of enforcing restrictive laws on political and religious expression. The Saudis are quick to deny accusations of human rights abuses and say it is protecting its national security.
Although these executions may horrify the Western World, they are completely legal under Saudi Arabia’s jurisdiction, so how should Christians react and how should they pray?