ICC Note: A small but significant step for the Middle East. Please note the following: The building will have neither bell tower nor cross. It will not be open to the public but will be reserved for the exclusive use of the faithful
Qatars first Catholic Church will be inaugurated in February
Qatar (from Asia News) The building stands on lands donated by the Emir and will serve over 140 thousand faithful who live in the country. It will have either bell towers, nor crosses because they go against non Muslim religious norms.
Doha (AsiaNews) Qatars first Catholic Church will be inaugurated this February. The Church will serve the 140 thousand Catholics who live in the Muslim nation of almost 800 thousand inhabitants, mainly immigrants. The cost of construction amounts to 15 million dollars: Catholics from across the Arabian peninsula mainly Philippines and Indians, have contributed.
The church has been erected on lands in the southern suburbs of the capital Doha, donated by the Emir Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who over recent years has spearheaded a policy of inter-religious dialogue and who in 2002 also instigated relations with the Holy See.
The building will have neither bell tower nor cross. It will not be open to the public but will be reserved for the exclusive use of the faithful. These limitations together with the ban on conversion which exists for Muslims, is in a certain way the dues that the Emir must pay to the majority wahabi Muslims, of Saudi inspiration, who have long opposed the construction of the Church.
The future parish priest Fr. Tom Veneration, tells AsiaNews: After over 20 years of making formal requests to the authorities, the government has finally granted the Christian confessions land to build their own places of worship. The Catholic community were given the largest piece of land, because our presence here goes back down the centuries and also because our community is the largest, now numbering over 100 thousand faithful.