There are no synagogues in Saudi Arabia, except - perhaps - temporary ones in
U.S. military bases (I could not find information indicating whether
or not the US Military has synagogues in Saudi Arabia; religious
practice of Americans in the Saudi Arabia, including that of
Christians, has been previously constrained by the Saudi government).
The public worship of religions other than the official version of
Sunni Islam is prohibited by law: "The Government does not provide
legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection does not
exist in practice. Islam is the official religion, and the law
requires that all citizens be Muslims. The Government prohibits the
public practice of non-Muslim religions. The Government recognizes the
right of non-Muslims to worship in private; however, it does not
always respect this right in practice, and does not define this right
in law." (SOURCE: International Religious Freedom Report,
see also US Dept. of State report,
According to The Scribe, there are thousands of "crypto Jews", living
in the Saudi Arabia but hiding their identity (SOURCE: The Scribe,
<http://www.dangoor.com/74008.html>). Even before 1948, there were no
"official" Jewish communities in the Saudi Kingdom, due to the
regulations against non-Sunnis (Jews are not the only ones who cannot
practice their religion: there are many foreign - 90% Catholic -
workers who are not allowed to celebrate Christmas or otherwise
practice their religion; Shiite Muslims and Sunnis who don't adhere
with the official school - Sufis, for example, are persecuted;
Baha'is, Hindus or Zoroastrians are discriminated even in comparison
to the other abovementioned religious groups).
There is a large Muslim community in Israel. Before 1948, Muslims
consisted the majority in the territory. "The 400-odd Palestinian
villages razed in 1948 contained at least 400 mosques and 400
cemeteries." (SOURC: Mideast Facts,
Today, there are 170 "official" mosques, that is, mosques whose 340
Imams are civil servants and get salary from the government for
performing religious services. The Islamic Movement operates more
mosques in Israel ("[...] since 1988, some 220 new mosques were built
in Israel, mostly by the Islamic Movement that controls them. In 1988,
there were only 80 mosques in Israel.", SOURCE: "Israel's Islamic
movement & Hamas", <http://www.geocities.com/zincisrael/1999/0925a.htm>).
However, it is important to add at this point, that this might be like
comparing apples and oranges:
- There was a Muslim majority in the "Israel" territory before 1948,
there was never (at least since the consolidation of Islam) a Jewish
majority in the Saudi Kingdom.
- Israel is nominally a democracy, the Saudi Arabia isn't. That means
that Israel is committed to basic human rights and religious freedoms.
Saudi Arabia does not consider itself committed to those values.
I hope that this answered your question. Please contact me if you need
any further clarification before you rate the answer.
Search strategy: "jews in saudi"; "synagogues in saudi"; "saudi
arabia" "religious minorities"; israel, mosques, "before 1948".