A new research titled “Coexistence in Saudi Society,” conducted by the Department of Studies and Research at the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue, has revealed some exciting results: Saudis today embrace religious diversity and coexistence in society.
The study, which mainly targeted the cities of Dammam, Hofuf, Al-Mubarraz, Khobar, Medina, Mecca, and Najran involved the efforts of 114 field researchers who conducted numerous interviews in collaboration with 3,140 members of society over the age of 18 in 59 residential neighborhoods across the Kingdom.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
Amongst the main findings of the study, the most striking ones are that: 95 percent of Saudis respect others who may have different religious beliefs; 82 percent believe everyone is free to choose their religious doctrine without being forced; 61 percent do not have a problem with the existence of places of worship for those with different beliefs; and 81 percent asserted that they consider others' beliefs as a cultural privacy.
Regarding the results of this research, Stepfeed pointed out that Saudi Arabia today comprises a young population, many under the age of 30 who are open to the world and invested in transforming the Kingdom for the better. In addition, Saudi Arabia is now being guided towards a transformative phase in its advancement by the country’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
King Salman with French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
Under the young Crown Prince’s leadership, Saudi Arabia has in less than a year rescinded bans of female motorists and public cinemas, appointed women to key leadership positions, developed its arts, culture, heritage, entertainment, and tourism sectors, and is gearing up for even more reforms in the coming years.
Most notably, part of the Crown Prince’s efforts to create a culture of change across the Kingdom includes bringing back the more tolerant Islam of Saudi Arabia’s past. According to Al Arabiya, the Crown Prince was quoted last year saying, “We are returning to what we were before -- a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world. We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today.”