Who We Are!
Hope for Riyadh was created to enable freedom of worship in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, promote interfaith tolerance and education worldwide and to be an example of the love of Christ throughout the Middle East.
While The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, founded in 1932, is steeped in Ancient culture and tradition, it is rapidly becoming a modern nation. In order to meet the human capital needs of its rapidly expanding economy, the Kingdom is now home to over 7 million ex-pats (people from countries other than Saudi Arabia) who have ventured to Saudi Arabia to work. In addition, these 7 million ex-pats have an estimated 3 million family members living with them in Saudi Arabia. In total, Saudi Arabia is home to over 10 million people from other nations – including a large Christian community. This large Ex-Pat community means that, similar to America, Saudi Arabia is becoming a melting pot of a multitude of different cultures, ethnicity and religious practices.
As home to some of Islam’s holiest places, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long history where Islam is the nation’s official and only recognized religion. The Kingdom has also been slow to embrace other cultures and religions. The result is that millions of Ex-Pats, including a large and culturally diverse Christian Community have found themselves and their families living in the home of Islam with no place to worship.
To meet the needs of the Christian community in Saudi Arabia, hundreds of small “underground” churches developed. In order to protect their secrecy, these churches were limited in the number of people who could be served.
Seeing that hundreds of thousands of Christians, from countries all over the world, needed a place to freely worship, and to renew and maintain their faith, Grace Outreach Riyadh was born in 2008. Outside of a few western embassies and the Saudi Aramco Compound, Grace Outreach Riyadh is currently the only church in Riyadh where Christians worship publicly.
Since Grace Outreach Riyadh stepped out on faith and began worshiping in public in 2008, the beginnings of a miraculous change in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have begun. Today, Grace Outreach Riyadh provides Christian Ex-Pats from around the world with a place to worship. Grace Outreach Riyadh is home to hundreds of worshipers, from over 40 different countries, every week.
Today, other ministries and churches in Saudi Arabia have begun to slowly become more public in the activities – using social media and other tools to expand their reach into the Christian community.