Although Saudi Arabia bans non-Muslim places of worship, there are churches in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.
Several bishops on the European continent have spoken out against the fatwa.
But as the Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, who is writing a book about the Vatican's relations with Israel, observes:
"It’s astonishing, horrible and amazing that the most important Muslim cleric in the land that gave birth to Islam can call for the destruction of churches without this genocidal fatwa attracting any international condemnation or protest. Where is the White House? Where is Lady Ashton? Where is the Vatican? Where are the UN’s agencies?...
This fatwa is like Iran’s Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of the State of Israel. Both, the Jews and Christians, today are targeted for a new impending genocide."