It is a country that does not allow Christian churches to be built and does allow open worship by non-Muslims but that didn't stop Saudi Arabia from hosting a United Nations approved conference on human rights.
The Independent reports that UN Human Right Council president Joachim Rücker addressed the opening of the conference.
"Religious intolerance and violence committed in the name of religion rank among the most significant human rights challenges of our times," Rücker said.
No word on Rücker criticizing the Gulf Kingdom's restrictions on religious freedom. Also in attendance were representatives from the Obama administration, the UN special rapporteur on religious freedom. Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch was critical.
"We urge the council president, the UN expert, and the two U.S. envoys to, at a minimum, denounce Saudi Arabia for its gross and systematic violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of religion," Neuer said.
The human rights conference was held at the same time as a Saudi blogger was facing 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam.
"It’s bad enough that the oppressive and fundamentalist Saudi monarchy was elected to sit on the UN Human Rights Council," Neuer said. "But for top UN human rights officials to now visit Jeddah and smile while human rights activist Raif Badawi languishes in prison for the crime of religious dissent, still under threat of further flogging, is to pour salt in the wounds. It’s astonishing."