Skip to comments.Church in Northern Arabia Longs for 'Place to Worship'
Posted on 05/31/2013 7:00:51 PM PDT by marshmallow
Washington D.C., May 30, 2013 / 04:05 am (CNA).- As he oversees the missionary territory of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, apostolic vicar Camillo Ballin outlined Catholics' need for religious toleration as well as a physical home for ministry.
A native of Italy, Bishop Ballin set out to study Arabic and Islam in order to discover another world after his ordination as a priest of the Comboni Missionaries.
In a May 29 interview with CNA, he noted that his travels have taken him to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, and eventually to his 2005 appointment as apostolic vicar of Kuwait.
His vicariate otherwise known as an ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the Church where a hierarchy is not yet fully organized was expanded in 2011 to include the whole of the Northern Arabian Peninsula, which oversees Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The area has supported a Christian population since before the advent of Islam, a fact that many Christians in the area look to for inspiration, Bishop Ballin said. As an example, he pointed to church within the vicariate that is dedicated to St. Arethas and the 400 martyrs that were persecuted and killed over a century before Islam came to the area.
Today, ministry within the vicariate focuses upon the spiritual sustenance of 2.5 million Christians in the area, Bishop Ballin said.
A major concern for the vicariate, he noted, is promoting religious freedom for Christians in the area. Most of the Catholic faithful in the area are guest workers from countries such as India and the Philippines.
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The only safe haven is Lebanon anymore...for now.
If I was a Christian Arab, I’d emigrate to Lebanon. It’d help shore up the Maronites now that the Salafis are starting to get agitated with the spillover from Syria.
The only safe place for Christians there is to get out from under Islamic control. The Muslims have been driving the Christians out of all that area (Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Libya...you name it)... or just killing them.
A logical place would be to declare southern Egypt a free nation since there are still maybe 10 million Christians in that region. Then, it should open its doors to any other persecuted Christians from the Islamic-dominated lands in all directions.
Not a perfect solution but at least something that would help many Christians, which they may very well not under Islam.
When can we look to our great leaders in WashDC to take up this cause for us?
Well, they won’t find freedom here. We’ll force them to pay for Sandra Fluke’s sex change operation.
Chickens in a land of foxes will never get a coop.
wasn;t she the one that couldn’t afford to buy condoms for all her boy friends ?
(no wonder the rest of the world thinks America is going down the toilet these last 3 or 4 years)
Yep. The one who attracted a crowd of ‘about ten’ outside the sack ‘o suds.
Then don’t call it wershipin.
Church is for fellow ship and instruction.
You can worship anywhere
Come to the USA.
wonder why he isn’t worried about the over one million overseas workers who are Catholics in his area...
Our Catholic Filipinos can’t have mass in Saudi, and often travel for Christmas holidays to the Gulf states where they do allow Churches.
And although the Catholics hold their own services, I have no idea if there are underground priests serving them in Saudi...a couple years ago an Indian (Kerala) priest was thrown out when discovered.
And local Protestant Filipinos are taught how to spread the faith in Saudi, both to their fellow workers and to locals....no reports if they are making converts, but Koreans and Chinese Christians are also proselytizing the Arabs quietly...