A thing to remember.
The ideology of the former Baghdad regime was secular modernizing pan-arabism which was basically European/Western although authoritarian. BAATH party was founded by a Christian Michel Aflaq and under BAATH rule Christians had freedom to worship and advance in society.
Shia version of Islam is more similar to Christianity with hierarchy and inclusion of science and philosophy like Aristotle (analogous to scholasticism). There are Christians churches and even Jewish synagogues in Iran.
It is Puritan iconoclastic Wahhabism which is most dangerous. Christian and Jewish religion is illegal in Saudi Arabia.
"Christian and Jewish religion is illegal in Saudi Arabia."
That's quite the understatement.......we had secret Bible Studies in compounds; and in 1993 or 1994, four Philippinos's were passing out Bibles to fellow Christians and were caught in one of the compound raids. They were set for execution, "Off with the head" in Chop Chop Square. The Philippino embassy went to bat for them...and whatever conditions, arrangements, paid off whatever; got them released and out of the country ASAP.......It's really nothing to "lose your head over"......It's also illegal to date in the Kingdom. Meaning, if I were to meet an American from North Carolina or any state, I cannot talk to here in a supermarket without having to watch for the religious police. You pass notes with phone numbers secretly while in the aisles.....when you go out you have to frequent restaurants that are already named in the Western community as "fairly" safe to eat out in. Always be ready to leave if the Matawa comes in......or, if caught dating, you will be arrested on the spot and taken to jail.....this is a normal life there......God forbid if EVER caught messing around with a Saudi Woman....I don't even want to think about what would happen to both.....