JAFFA, Israel – Authorities in the Saudi region of Sharaee celebrated the conversion of 27 Chinese citizens to Islam in what seems to be an unofficial national competition among religious services across the kingdom.
Dawah (religious guidance) offices in Saudi Arabia occasionally publish conversion figures, boasting of their success in winning the hearts of foreigners.
The Chinese converts, all working for a train contractor, converted to Islam following the proselytizing efforts of the local Dawah office.
“We regularly came to their living quarters, we gave them the lowdown on Islam, held parlor meetings, we stressed that Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance,” Abdullah al-Oteibi, director of the Dawah office in Sharaee, said.
The many Chinese laborers working on the multi-million dollar train project are a target audience of the local Dawah office. The conversion of several groups among them is seen as a welcome outcome of the “king’s request and guidance,” al-Oteibi added.