Religious Freedom in Bahrain: An evening with the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Bahrain’s longstanding alliance with the United States can be traced back over 100 years ago, when American missionaries arrived in Bahrain and founded a clinic which would later become the American Mission Hospital and established the first church in the Arabian Gulf. Although Bahrain is a Muslim country, religious minorities – including Christians, Jews, Hindus and Baha’i – enjoy full freedom of worship. Today, next to mosques, Bahrain is home to 19 registered Churches, a synagogue, Hindu temples and many other places of worship.

It is in this spirit of religious pluralism that I was very pleased to welcome a group from the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church to the Embassy on Thursday evening. It is always a pleasure to host engaged and knowledgeable groups for informed discussion.

During my speech, I took the opportunity to share the narrative of events in Bahrain and emphasized the measures our government has taken to address popular concerns and enact needed reform.

Events like these are a wonderful opportunity to share Bahrain’s unique story as a progressive outpost in the Middle East and I look forward to sharing Bahrain’s longstanding tradition of religious freedom with our American friends.

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