Now I'm a christian, probably not a very good one, but a baptized Christian all the same. You won't often find me in church, however I do read, do study and do pray. Since I've been in Saudi, There has been an air of hostility towards this. Legally I can't gather with other Christians, legally I can't read the bible except for my own personal copy and I can't share it with anybody. However, this isn't even the worst of it. Their is a feeling here, at least with certain people I've met (and a few that I work for) that revealing anything about my faith will get me fired, or get me sent home. A feeling that if I actually said aloud that I pray daily, I'd find my job and my welcome here in question. This and distance does something to you. For me, it renewed my faith, it caused my weekly prayers or prayers of convienence to become daily and sometimes twice daily prayers. For me, it changed the way I felt about some things.
Seeing these scenes, seeing these churches, in a country run by the Muslim brotherhood no less did something great for me. Number one, I felt very tied to them, felt as though I'd kind of gone on a little pilgrimage of my own, but more importantly, it changed the way I had begun to feel about Islam and the Middle East. Here, in this primarily Muslim country, Christians and Jews lived and worshiped. Egyptians could choose their faith, Egypt while still a conservative Islamic country was somehow able to deal with the idea of churches and synagogues for those who chose something other than Islam. To me this realization began to push back the slightly negative view Saudi Arabia had given me. Maybe I dared to think, there is hope for the faithful of the world to live in some sort of peace. In one day, I toured Mosques, Churches and Synagogues. It was to say the least, nice.