Saudi Arabia is a strongly Islamic nation. It is the place of the birth and final resting place of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. The legal system is based on Islamic law, known as Sharia. It is forbidden to openly practise a faith other than Islam. Leaving Islam is punishable by death.

Maryam’s Story: Maryam came to know Jesus as a teenager through Christian media. Soon after, she began writing poems and songs about her new faith. When she came of marriageable age, her father started presenting Muslim suitors to her. She managed to hold off offers of marriage from the first two, hoping to marry a Christian. But when a third suitor was presented to her, she could not reject his offer without bringing shame on her family.

Maryam kept in contact with other Christians right up until her wedding day – after which she was forced to cut off all contact. It is unknown whether she has been able to persevere in her faith.