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
"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)
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