Roman Catholicism in Bahrain
Bahrain established diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1999.
In August 2012, the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia was created and its headquarters was decided to be in Bahrain. The largest Catholic church in the Persian Gulf is to be constructed in Awali, south of Manama, the countries capital. The land for the church is being provided by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa due to a request from Pope Benedict XVI in December 2008, and will cover 9,000 square meters. It will be the headquarters for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, and also open to other Christian denominations. Protests from various Islamist groups have occurred over the donation. Although Bahrain does have a small native Christian population, most Catholics in Bahrain are expatriates from India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, and Western countries. Many parishioners are people who cross the border from Saudi Arabia, where there are no churches and it is illegal to be a Christian. There are currently two churches in the country; Sacred Heart Church in the capital Manama, and Our Lady of the Visitation in Awali in central Bahrain.
- "Plan for Catholic church makes waves in Bahrain". Associated Press. 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Habib Toumi (2011-11-17). "Bahrain is home to 19 churches". Gulf News. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Habib Toumi (2008-12-26). "Bahrain will donate land to build new Catholic church". The Gulf News. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "Catholic vicariate moves from Kuwait to Bahrain". Catholic News Agency. 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
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