Herbert W. Armstrong’s History With King Saud

Early foundation laid for gospel message delivery to Saudi Arabia

The unofficial ambassador for world peace recounted to an audience in Cairo, Egypt, how he “had met the crown prince, who later became King Saud” of Saudi Arabia. “I’m sorry he’s no longer with us, but we were good friends as long as he lived,” Herbert W. Armstrong said during the testimonial dinner held in his honor in November 1974.

The history of the house of Saud dates back to 1744, when the father of the “Wahhabism” form of Islam settled in the Najd region of Arabia and established an alliance with Al Saud tribe. The moment saw the merging of religion with politics, wealth and security. In 1902, Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud set out across the Arabian expanse to extend the influence of the house of Saud. Within the next 23 years he oversaw the capture of Riyadh, then Islam’s two holy sites of Mecca and Medina. By 1932 he was able to announce himself king and rename the dominion Saudi Arabia.

The following year, the United States aided the new country in the research, recovery and sale of oil, its most prized commodity. The Arabian American Oil Company was established. By 1945, amid the Second World War, Saudi Arabia was providing America with black gold in return for military security, training and construction of a military base in Dhahran.

That same year, in San Francisco, during the historic United Nations conference, Mr. Armstrong was granted 48 minutes with the Saudi Arabian delegation, which took the form of an interview for the Plain Truth magazine and the World Tomorrow radio program.

Two years later, the king’s son Prince Faisal, while in New York, was displeased by President Truman’s support of the division of Palestine into Arab and Israeli states. As a result, months later, in 1948, the king sent troops in support of the forces unsuccessfully attempting to destroy the fledgling Jewish state.

Prior to his death in 1953, the king appointed his eldest son, Saud, to succeed him, and his second eldest, Faisal, as the country’s foreign minister. After the overthrow of the Egyptian monarchy by Gen. Gamal Nasser and his military, the U.S. strengthened ties with the Arabian kingdom with another special oil-security deal signed by President Dwight Eisenhower and Prince Faisal during a state visit to Washington in 1957. King Saud’s reign was marked by controversy and opposition from within the royal house. Seven years later, bereft of his ruling alliances, and his abdication decreed by the religious elite in favor of his brother Faisal, Saud was exiled to Athens, Greece, where his health steadily declined resulting in his death in 1969.

Mr. Armstrong’s meeting with the Saudi Arabian monarch enabled the groundwork to be laid for delivery of the gospel message to Saudi Arabia. Uniquely, in a country where the royal family holds the majority of leadership posts, God’s good news of an impending divine Kingdom and world-ruling government reached the country through Mr. Armstrong’s contact with its leading international envoy, princes and kings (Matthew 24:14).

For over two decades, our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, has dedicated his life to continuing Mr. Armstrong’s message. He has visited the Mideast numerous times reporting for the Trumpet, the Key of David program, and overseeing humanitarian endeavors of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation. The message he heralds is the way of peace, prophesying of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in climactic end-time events outlined in Psalm 83, and highlighting the hope-filled road toward the establishment of the coming Kingdom of God.

Request your free copy of The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily today to learn of how you individually can be at peace while working for the establishment of true, global peace. By doing so you will learn how to support the message of peace heralding its soon-coming implementation worldwide—true world peace for all mankind soon to be imposed by our supreme, benevolent Creator, the King of kings and Lord of lords.