Some two million Catholics in the GCC will now look to Bahrain for their spiritual well-being, as the Church relocates its headquarters there from Kuwait.
Arabian Business reports:
Bishop Camillo Ballin will continue to lead the Vicariate (comprised of Qatar, Kuwait, KSA and Bahrain), a statement said.
“After thoughtful consideration and the completion of a new Roman Catholic Church in the Kingdom, Bahrain will host Vicariate as a testament to the Kingdom’s religious and cultural openness,” the statement added.
Bahrain’s move to build the largest Catholic Church in the region comes amid signs of growing intolerance of other faiths in the Islam-dominated Gulf.
Earlier this year, a Kuwaiti Parliament member moved to ban the construction of any non-Muslim houses of worship there.
Shortly after that, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric reportedly said it was “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”
Meanwhile, Qatar’s “Church City” has flourished as Christianity loses its taboo status in Qatar, officials have said.
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