*** ----> New Bahrain cathedral to hold first Arabic mass on Christmas Day | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

New Bahrain cathedral to hold first Arabic mass on Christmas Day

TDT | Manama

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The first Arabic mass at the Kingdom’s newly-inaugurated Cathedral will be held on Christmas Day.

This was confirmed by Father Fayad Charbel of the Sacred Heart Church in Manama.

The state-of-the-art Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia was inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty the King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Awali on December 9.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by the Personal Representative of His Majesty the King, His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The new cathedral stretches within 9,000 square metres of land donated by His Majesty the King.

Attending the event were members of the Royal family, senior government officials, ambassadors, Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence, reverend fathers and guests.

The modernist church with an octagonal dome, several tiers of seating, two chapels and an 800-capacity auditorium has become a focal point for Bahrain’s 80,000 Catholics and an architectural landmark.

The new church is the second cathedral built in the Apostolic Vicariate (which includes Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) after the Holy Family in the Desert Cathedral in Madinat Al Kuwait.

COVID-19 protocols

Speaking to The Daily Tribune, Father Charbel said the mass will be held strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols being implemented by the Health Ministry.

“Nearly 1,000 Bahraini Christians are living in the Kingdom.

Arab Christians mainly came to the Kingdom from Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria and they were given citizenship by the late Amir HH Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa,” Father Charbel said.

“This is a great nation – a land of tolerance.

In this beautiful country, we have learned that there is no difference between religions and our celebration of Christmas always witnesses the participation of all denominations in the Kingdom.

Here you see in the heart of the Church various groups of Bahrainis, Christians and different communities; indeed, this is a beautiful and wonderful country.

“We always pray to God to protect this beloved country and that peace prevails across the world.”

Arab Christians are facing difficult situations in many Middle Eastern countries, said Father Charbel, pointing out the attacks against them in countries such as Iraq and Syria.

“The fundamental reason for this is the economic crisis and lack of good governance.

The economic crisis in these countries is the root cause for growing terror elements, which is further worsening the situation.

“In Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, there is no stability of governance and corrupt politicians rule the roost, in turn promoting the growth of fanatic groups.”