Four Shia mosques in Khobar were closed within one year
Saudi Esmaili Shia prayers in Khobar city, East of Saudi Arabia, were forced to perform Friday prayer in intense heat as Saudi authorities cut off electric power on the only Esmaili mosque in the city.
Najrani sources told Rasid that Saudi security authorities in Khobar city cut off electric power on Thursday after several months of pressure to close the mosques as they did for three others Khobar.
Shia Prayers were forced to perform Friday Pray in intense heat and humidity which is the prevailing weather condition this time of the year.
The 1000 prayers mosque is located in Thuqba and was built 17 years back. It was used earlier as an open area for performing Eid prayers 40 years ago.
This is the only mosque in Khobar where Esmailis perform their prayers in.
Authorities claim that the cause for closing the mosque is lack of official permit and it is built in an industrial area. Authorities refuse to give permit for building a replacement mosque.
Saudi Arabia refuse to grant its Shia citizens permits for building mosques in areas where Shia is not majority unlike Qatif, Al-Hasa and Najran, where Shia is majority.
Several leading Esmaili public figures tried their way with highly ranked State officials to grant permission for performing prayers in the mosque but their efforts were in vain.
It is estimated that about 20,000 Shia citizens live in Khobar, yet Authorities refuse to grant them a permit to build a mosque.
The recent developments came after of 14 months from the Authorities campaign to close Shia mosques in Khobar which included three Shia Imami mosques in addition to the Esmaili mosque.
The predominant Shia Ithna Asharya Eastern Province has large population of Shia Esmaili who came originally from Najran, South Of Saudi Arabia, where they are majority.
It is worth noting that Shia delegation from Khobar met King Abdullah few weeks back and discussed with him the case of Shia mosques closure. There were no information about the outcome of the meeting.