A Filipino Christian employed for 14 years as an engineer in Saudi Arabia has been detained by police authorities since December 1 for suspected Christian activities.

Edmar Romero, 40, was arrested about 9:30 at night by plainclothes police who came to his home in Dammam, on the coast of Saudi Arabia's Eastern province.

When Romero returned home from his engineering consulting firm in Al-Khobar on the evening of December 1, he found several men waiting for him downstairs in his apartment building. The police escorted Romero up to his third-floor flat, which they then entered. They closed and locked the door, and proceeded to search the entire premises.

"I don't know just what all they took," said his wife Arsenia, who is a high school teacher, "but some of my lesson plans and even grade sheets for my students are missing." She confirmed that her husband's personal Bible and a set of Christian leadership training materials he was studying had been confiscated.

When the officers insisted Romero leave with them for further questioning, but refused to explain why, the engineer telephoned his employer. The Saudi owner was reportedly told by the officials that they had been sent by the Ministry of Interior and needed to question Romero about the items they had confiscated in his home.

"No reason was given," Mrs. Romero said. His company, however, has since concluded that his arrest was "all about religious matters." An English-language Bible was reportedly found after a police search of Romero's locker at his office, where he has been employed for the past four years.

A week after the arrest, Romero's wife was allowed to meet with her husband briefly. She said she asked everyone repeatedly why her husband had been detained and what ...

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