Can travellers see Buddhist temples in Saudi Arabia?

I'm not a Buddhist myself, but I sometimes see Buddhist temples when travelling. Wikipedia mentions that there's approximately 400,000 Buddhists in Saudi Arabia. Are there any Buddhist temples, whose existence is publicly known, that I can see?


There are no such temples in Saudi Arabia - source: 26+ years of living there.

There are way more Christians in Saudi Arabia than Buddhists - but there are no churches in Saudi Arabia either.

It is enshrined in the law - which states that all people are free to practice their religion in private only. Public houses of worship for other religions are not allowed.

The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice - known by their Arabic: مطوعين‎, enforces this prohibition.

  • Actually it's "مطاوعة" in the local dialect, an irregular plural. Oct 27 '15 at 5:19
  • I always thought "مطاوعة" was the singular form and مطوعين the name of the agency; but I'm not a native speaker of Arabic. No confusion as to what they look like though ;-) Oct 27 '15 at 5:21
  • 1
    The agency is called "الهيئة" for short, "مطوع" is the singular form. They look alike anyway and they all have the same mentality, so singular or plural makes no difference... Oct 27 '15 at 5:25

I don't think you can, Saudi Arabia is a muslim country and it has been for the last 1400 years or so, and all the Buddhist are foreigners that work in SA and not native to the country, so no there isn't any Buddhist temples at all. ( I am sure that the sudi government wont allow any to be built ).

  • 20
    The problem is not that Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country— so is Indonesia, and you can find Buddhist temples there. The problem is that the Saudi government does not allow public worship of any non-Islamic religions, owing in turn to its historical relationship with one particular interpretation of Islam.
    – choster
    Oct 26 '15 at 5:49
  • 2
    @choster is right, you can find several Buddhist temples in Iran (Muslim country) either
    – user36598
    Oct 26 '15 at 12:12
  • In addition to Iran and Indonesia, there are non-Muslim worship facilities in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Iraq, and Malaysia. Completely banning public non-Muslim worship is not the standard practice in most Muslim countries. Mar 19 '17 at 21:37
  • @RobertColumbia, and Oman. Feb 16 '18 at 11:23

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