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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Qatar approves construction of new church while Saudi cleric calls for their destruction

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Qatar has green-lighted plans to build a new church here, setting it apart from other GCC countries that have recently expressed a contempt for Christian houses of worship.

The new church, which will be constructed within the Catholic Congregation of Churches in Abu Hammour, will belong to the Maronite Christians of Lebanon.

On a recent visit to Doha, the head of the church thanked Qatar’s Emir for permission to build the church, saying the decision “reflects Qatar’s broad minded inclusive attitude towards other faiths,” local media reports state.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric has said it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region,” Arabian Business reports.

The kingdom’s Grand Mufti made the comments while speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, who moved last month to ban the construction of any new non-Muslim places of worship there.

Qatar opened its first church since pre-Islamic times in 2008 to cater to the over 100,000 Christian expats living here.

Since then, the country’s “Church City” has flourished as Christianity loses its taboo status in Qatar, officials have said. 

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