Indian Christian Imprisoned, Tortured In Saudi Arabia

By June 18, 2004

Saudi Arabia (ODM)–Being a believer in Saudi Arabia is risky. The country is in the top five on Open Doors ‘World Watch List’, documenting countries known for persecuting Christians.

According to Compass Direct, Brian Savio O’Connor was abducted and tortured March 25 by Saudi Arabia’s religious police (muttawa) for “spreading Christianity.”

He remains jailed in Riyadh’s Al-Hair Prison without trial or even formal charges against him. In response to questions, O’Connor declared that he did preach the Bible, but denied converting Muslims to Christianity.

O’Connor, a cargo agent for Saudia Airlines for the past six years, currently shares a windowless cell with 16 other inmates at Al-Hair Prison.
The All India Catholic Union, the Indian Bishops’ Conference and officials of the Indian Embassy have filed appeals to Saudi authorities on O’Connor’s behalf, but their inquiries have gone unanswered.

From India, O’Connor’s older brother Raymond has vowed to begin a hunger strike to publicize his brother’s plight if the Saudi authorities have not released him by June 15.

However, O’Connor has not been unproductive during captivity. Compass Direct says at least two of his cellmates have come to faith in Christ during his confinement, and others have asked him to pray for them.

Dr. Carl Moeller, President of Open Doors USA, says, “As we have seen in the past, Christians imprisoned for their faith continue to minister inside the prison walls. We need to pray for protection and strength for brother O’Connor and that the inmates who have become Christians to stand firm in their new faith. And we need to pray for justice. In addition to your prayers, support him with your letters.”

Please note the following guidelines for letter writing:
1. Postcards or short, one-page letters would be the best.
2. Write notes of encouragement, saying that you are praying for him and his release, and perhaps giving a short Scripture verse. Brian understands English.
3. Make no mention of “Open Doors” on the card or letter. Simply identify yourself as a Christian believer from the United States.
4. Do not send money or gifts.

Write to: Mr. Brian O’Connor, c/o the Prison Director, Al-Hair Prison, Cell #9, Riyadh City, SAUDI ARABIA.

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