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Expatriate Christians from Bahrain address EU Parliament

BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (KUNA) - Expatriate representatives of several Christian Churches and congregations (including Catholic, Anglican, Protestant and Coptic Orthodox) living in Bahrian spoke at a conference in the European Parliament on Thursday on the topic of "Christians in Muslim Lands: The Example of Bahrain." The event was hosted by Dutch MEP Cornelis De Jong and organized by the think tank Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF).
A press release by the HRWF today said the speakers at the conference described a state of religious tolerance and a positive image which Christians enjoy in Bahrain, a Muslim state. "Bahrain is a positive example and an unmatched model of peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians in the Islamic world and within the Arabic Peninsula," stressed Cornelis de Jong.
In describing the constitution and social relations within the small island kingdom, Willy Fautre, director of HRWF, hailed the level of religious freedom in Bahrain.
"The constitution recognises the rights of residents alongside those of citizens and respects the sanctity of places of worship," he noted.
David Axtell, Chairman of the Bahrain Anglican Church Council, differentiated last year's events in Bahrain from the Arab Spring and emphasized the government's initiative to resolve the problems by implementing the recommendations of the National Dialogue and the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. Axtell also noted that international media had, for the most part, conveyed a one-sided narrative about the social unrest but neglected the narratives and experiences of other actors or long-time residents in Bahrain.
Other speakers from the conference described the history of their churches as well as the religious work they do in Bahrain. (end) nk.ajs KUNA 271723 Jan 12NNNN