Christianity in Bahrain

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Christians in Bahrain make up about 14.5% of the population. Bahrain has had a native Christian community for many centuries, with the first recorded presence dating back to the 12th century. Expatriate Christians however, make up the majority of Christians in Bahrain, while native Christian Bahrainis (who hold Bahraini citizenship) make up a much smaller community. Alees Samaan, the current Bahraini ambassador to the United Kingdom, is a native Christian.

There are also a number of believers in Christ from a Muslim background in the country, though many are not citizens. A 2015 study estimates some 1,650 such Christians in the country.[1]

Bahraini Christians[edit]

Native Christians who hold Bahraini citizenship number approximately 1,000 persons.[2][note 1] The majority of Christians are originally from Iraq, Palestine and Jordan, with a small minority having lived in Bahrain for many centuries; the majority have been living as Bahraini citizens for less than a century. There are also smaller numbers of native Christians who originally hail from Lebanon, Syria, and India.

The majority of Christian Bahraini citizens tend to be Orthodox Christians, with the largest church by membership being the Eastern Orthodox Church. They enjoy many equal religious and social freedom. Bahrain has Christian members in the Bahraini government. Bahrain is one of two GCC countries to have a native Christian population; the other country, Kuwait, also has Christian population but in smaller numbers, with less than 400 Christian Kuwaiti citizens.

Eastern Orthodox Christians in Bahrain traditionally belong to the jurisdiction of Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. Eastern Orthodox parish in Bahrain was organized in 2000 by late metropolitan Constantine Papastephanou of Baghdad and Kuwait (1969-2014), who also had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Eastern Orthodox in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.[3]

Expatriate Christians[edit]

Foreign citizens who live and work in Bahrain make up the majority of Christians in Bahrain. They include people from Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They belong to various Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches.

Notable Bahraini Christians[edit]

Selected churches[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 2010 Census shows only two religion categories: "Muslim" and "Other". Reasonably assuming majority of "Other" Bahraini citizens is Christian.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnstone, Patrick; Miller, Duane (2015). "Believers in Christ from a Muslim Background: A Global Census". Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 11: 16. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "2010 Census Results". Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ Memory Eternal: Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou)

Further reading[edit]

  • Fahlbusch, Erwin, ed. (1999), "Bahrain", Encyclopedia of Christianity, 1, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, pp. 181–182, ISBN 0802824137 

External links[edit]