Bahrain to Attend Conference About Religiously Motivated Violence But Has Made Little Religious Freedom Progress
Bahrain has announced that it will attend a major conference on religiously motivated violence, a move which follows a fall announcement that included the issuance of a religious freedom declaration. However, Bahrain has done little to make actual change within the country that supports religious freedom. Islamic law remains the driving source of legislation, and civil procedures such as divorce and child custody remains overseen by Sharia courts. Bahraini Muslims who convert to Christianity risk being considered an apostate, a crime which could lead to imprisonment. Meanwhile the activities of expatriate Christians are restricted to designated compounds. If Bahrain is truly committed to protecting the rights of religious minorities, it must do more than attend conferences.
01/29/2018 Bahrain (Bahrain) – Bahrain will attend a major conference on religiously motivated violence in Italy.
The International Conference on Religious Violence (ICRV-18) will be held on January 29 – February 1, under the theme “Confronting Religiously Motivated Violence”.
Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry Undersecretary Dr. Farid bin Yacoub Al-Meftah will lead Bahrain’s delegation and address the conference on the dangers of religiously-motivated violence on the world.
He will point out the destructive role of extremists and advocates of violence who interpret sacred religious texts in a way that serves their heinous goals.
He will underline Bahrain’s strides in promoting co-existence, diversity and intellectual pluralism and combating violence, extremism and terrorism.
The ministry’s delegation led Dr. Al-Meftah took part in the annual conference on interfaith dialogue in the Vatican. The global event discussed the current phase of the dialogue between civilizations and religions.
Dr. Al-Meftah met Pope Francis, who commended Bahrain’s efforts to promote co-existence. The Holy Pontiff paid tribute to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, hailing the royal drive to foster openness, bolster religious liberties as well as the freedom of expression and opinion.
Pope Francis hailed Bahrain’s pivotal role in promoting dialogue between civilizations. Dr. Al-Meftah also lauded the pioneering role played by the Vatican and the Holy Pontiff in disseminating interfaith tolerance.
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