“As the Bahraini government granted a piece of land to construct the first Catholic Church in the country, Iranian authorities have been enraged and the Iranian Shi’ite media vigorously criticized the action,” Mohabat News repots.
8/20/2012 Bahrain (Mohabat News) – As the Bahraini government granted a piece of land to construct the first Catholic Church in the country, Iranian authorities have been enraged and the Iranian Shi’ite media vigorously criticized the action.
Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News – It is now about a year since Iranian-Bahraini political relations became strained. Iran’s intervention in Bahrain’s internal affairs as well as Iran’s support of Bahraini Shi’ite opposition has made Bahraini authorities to stand against Iran. This time, however, the two countries’ political disputes have gone one step further as authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially its Shi’ite religious websites, expressed concern over the construction of a church in Bahrain and severely criticized Bahraini and Saudi-Arabian officials.
In this connection, the independent religious website of Iranian Shi’ites which is affiliated with the Islamic seminary of Qom, wrote, “The Bahraini government has granted Christians a large and well-located lot to build their church there”!
This website, which promotes Shi’ite thinking in Iran, claimed, “One crime of Al Khalifa and Al Saud in Bahrain is that they destroyed Shi’ite mosques and Hussainia. There were 100 Shi’ite mosques and Hussainia. Now, Malik Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, dictator of Bahrain, has allowed the first Christian church to be constructed in Bahrain. In fact, the Vatican is seeking to move its Persian-Gulf region vicariate from Kuwait to Manama, the capital of Bahrain.”
In another section of its report, the Shi’ite website wrote, “By giving a construction permit for the first church and catholic vicariate in Bahrain, the King of Bahrain introduced himself as an open-minded man.”
Confirming this news, Bishop Camillo Ballin, the Vatican’s ambassador to Kuwait, mentioned the reasons for this move saying, “first of all, Bahrain is located in a more central area compared to Kuwait and is closer to Qatar and Saudi-Arabia. Secondly, receiving visa to Bahrain is easier for Christians. There are some difficulties for Christians to receive Kuwaiti visas and enter that country.