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Bahrain’s king invites Pope to visit nation

November 29, 2021

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, special envoy of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, met with Pope Francis on November 25 and invited the Pontiff to visit the Arab nation.

Sheikh Khalid, who was Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2020, praised the Pope’s commitment to interreligious dialogue and noted King Hamad’s support for the Document on Human Fraternity, signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

The Pope said that the invitation manifested Bahrain’s “character as a role model for openness and coexistence among all components of society,” according to a Bahrain media report.

The Persian Gulf nation of 1.5 million (map) is 82% Muslim, 11% Christian, and 6% Hindu. While Islam is the official religion, Bahrain has permitted the construction of a Catholic cathedral, which Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is scheduled to consecrate on December 10.


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