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Bahrain: construction beginning for Catholic cathedral

June 30, 2014

Construction is due to begin on a Catholic cathedral in Bahrain, one of the few Islamic countries that allows freedom of worship for Christians.

When Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa met with Pope Francis in May, the Pontiff thanked the Arabic ruler for donating the land on which the cathedral will be built. Construction is proceeding despite a petition opposing the existence of a Christian church, signed by dozens of Islamic leaders.

Although Bahrain is an island nation, theoretically the cathedral could serve the estimated 2.5 million Catholics-- most of them guest workers-- who live on the Arabian peninsula. Bahrain is located just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, which does not allow for Christian churches.


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