14 OFWs in Saudi arrested in ‘practicing’ religion

MANILA, October 5, 2010—Migrante Middle East (ME) appealed to the government to help 14 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) arrested by the Saudi cultural police due to participating in a Christian worship.

John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante-ME told CBCPNews that the 14 OFWs, whose names are yet to be verified, were included to more than 100 foreigners apprehended by the Saudi authorities for practicing Christianity.

“There are two OFWs, who refused to be named, who had called me, separately, and told me about the incident. They are appealing for help,” he said.

In Saudi kingdom, Monterona said, it is prohibited to perform any kind of religious worship, except Islam.

“However, despite this, there are still Christian denominations and other religious groups, which perform religious activities secretly,” he said.

Monterona, meanwhile, said Migrante case officers have been instructed to coordinate with the concerned RP embassy officials and to get more information such as the names of the OFWs so that their respective employer would be immediately informed and ask them to get their detained OFWs a provisional release under their custody.

Nevertheless, Migrante had cautioned OFWs that they must be extra careful in practicing their religion in order to avoid persecution and arrest. (Written for CBCPNews)