Riyadh, Dec. 30 -- The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has dispensed with a number of Friday preachers, because they delegated others to deliver the sermon (khutba) and perform the prayer, without notifying the ministry, local media reported.

Under the ministry's regulation, preachers are prohibited from delegating or skipping their scheduled sermons if they are asked to speak on a topic already approved by the ministry.

According to the Arabic daily Okaz, many preachers who have been on pulpits for decades have been dismissed and held accountable, due to their absence, and others assigned to deliver a sermon that contradicts the sermon requested by the ministry.

The dismissed Friday preach...