First Catholic Church for Saudi Arabia ?


First Catholic church for Saudi Arabia
Catholic News, Vatican

Vatican, Mar 22: Negotiations are underway to build the first Catholic church in Saudi Arabia with King Abdullah lending his support for its construction.

Vatican Radio reports the Vatican and the Saudi government are currently in talks to allow the church despite the kingdoms ban on allowing the construction of any non-Muslim place of worship.

No religion other than Islam is allowed to schedule public services, and even the possession of bibles, rosaries, and crucifixes is forbidden.

Saudi Arabia is the only country on the Arabian Peninsula without a Catholic church despite the 800,000 Catholics - virtually all of who are foreign workers.

While Saudi Arabia does not have formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See, King Abdullah became the first reigning Saudi monarch ever to visit the Vatican last November.

Commenting after his meeting with the Pope Vatican officials confirmed the Pontiff pressed for permission to open a Catholic church in the kingdom.

Holy See spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said that opening a Catholic parish in the Islamic land would be "a historic achievement" for religious freedom and a major step forward for inter-religious dialogue.

The apostolic nuncio to Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, Archbishop Paul-Mounged El-Hachem, is reportedly the lead Vatican negotiator in talks with Saudi officials.

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Comment on this article

  • Kevin Dias, Mumbai - India

    Wed, Mar 26 2008

    " Praise God sure his Spirit is very strong and that is a witness to the news that the Holy Father brings to the World and specially to the Faithful in Saudi Arabia. They have been in hunger for the Lord all these years and finally all prayers in hiding in various places have been answered. Let us all pray that God's spirit moves more and more into our lives to help all those waiting to receive him in body is not far away.Nothing is far not even the sun, When we have the love of Jesus in our Hearts. Kevin Dias - Mumbai.

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  • donfrank, mangalore

    Wed, Mar 26 2008

    I have been praying for this from my childhood. Praise to God. We are all happy. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless the King of S. Arabia and all the Catholics in that country. May there be more and more Churches. God bless all.

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  • Joel Lewis, Kallianpur

    Mon, Mar 24 2008

    May god bless the Saudi King and those involved in making this possible.

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  • alwyn nazareth, bajpe/ saudi arabia/jubail

    Mon, Mar 24 2008

    great news on Easter,our dreams comes true,God bless King Abdulla.

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  • K V Rao, Mangalore

    Mon, Mar 24 2008

    Is there a reciprocation deal to have a Mosque in Vatican city?.

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  • Austin Dias, Mangalore / Saudi

    Mon, Mar 24 2008

    Very good news if this happens!!! We are all suffering here in Saudi

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  • Darick Desilva, Brahmavar

    Sun, Mar 23 2008

    This very good news to read on Easter. I hope, next Easter we can attend mass at Saudi Arabian Chruch. God bless every move to bulid Chruch.

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  • Joan Sam.K, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu/presently at Doha

    Sun, Mar 23 2008

    Very good news for all christian communities and we remember King Abdulla in our daily prayers and praise God.

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  • VINOD WIFRED TAURO & FLY, MADANTHYAR,DUBAI

    Sun, Mar 23 2008

    Indeed it is a great news for all catholics who live in Saudi Arabia where catholic faith cannot be practiced openly. If it happens soon, then it is a good sign for mutual understanding between two religions. We all praise the lord for this great news and thanks to HRH King ABDULLA BIN ABDUL AZIZ...Sukraan..jazeeran

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  • Augustine Daniel D'Souza, Udupi Vasai Virar STATE OF KUWAIT

    Sun, Mar 23 2008

    This is very GOOD NEWS for our CATHOLIC CHURCH in Saudi Arabia. It is excellent move by High Excellence of KING ABDULLAH of KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA, May Allah bless him always.

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  • ozy pinto, ferar,oman

    Sun, Mar 23 2008

    it is good news for the catholic peoples who leavs in king dom of saudi arabia,godblessto king abdulla & the peoples of saudi arabia.may the peace & joy of the risen lord be with all

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  • pai, mangalore

    Sun, Mar 23 2008

    it is good move by saudi arabia

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  • STALIN D SOUZA, BAJPE / DUBAI

    Sun, Mar 23 2008

    I am very very happy to here one more church in the gulf in kingdom of Saudhi Arabia God bless to king Abdulla from all of us

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