Rahul Sharma

Catholic Church in Bahrain

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Catholic Church in Bahrain

The Catholic Church in Bahrain is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.

Contents

20th century

The first Catholic church built in the Persian Gulf in modern times was constructed in 1939 on land given by the Emir of Bahrain. Sacred Heart Church serves approximately 140,000 Catholics.

Bahrain established diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1999.

21st century

In August 2012, the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia was created by the Holy See, with its headquarters in Bahrain. The largest Catholic church in the Persian Gulf is to be constructed in Awali, south of Manama, the country's capital. The land for the church is being provided by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa due to a request from Pope Benedict XVI in December 2008, and will cover 9,000 square meters. It will be the headquarters for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, and also open to other Christian denominations. Protests from various Islamist groups have occurred over the donation. Although Bahrain does have a small native Christian population, most Catholics in Bahrain are expatriates from India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, and Western countries. Many parishioners cross the border from Saudi Arabia, where there are no churches and practising Christianity publicly is forbidden. There are currently two churches in the country; Sacred Heart Church, Manama, and Our Lady of the Visitation in Awali in central Bahrain.

References

Catholic Church in Bahrain Wikipedia


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