Frances Townsend, a former Homeland Security Advisor to United States under George W. Bush, brought rosary beads to Saudi Arabia, not realizing that she was committing a crime punishable by death. 

When Townsend visited the Crown Prince (now King Abdullah) on this important diplomatic mission, her conversation hit an impasse. However, she noticed the Crown Prince was fidgeting with his prayer beads, and she decided to pull out her rosary beads, as an overture suggesting that they put their differences aside. 

Townsend told this remarkable story at The Nantucket Project, a festival of ideas on Nantucket, MA.

Watch the video here