Bahrain 'oasis of co-existence'
New York, November 13, 2008
Bahrain has always been an oasis of co-existence and a meeting point for all religions and cultures, His Majesty King Hamad said.
'This unity is reflected in the fact that people of all religious beliefs are free to worship openly in the kingdom. There are 14 churches and synagogues in Bahrain besides a number of worship houses of other sects,' His Majesty pointed out.
He was last night speaking at a special high-level UN General Assembly meeting on dialogue between different religions and cultures, at the initiative of Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain's participation in this inter-faith conference stems from its belief that such dialogues are vital to peaceful co-existence, said His Majesty.
In this respect, he said Bahrain was prepared to host a general secretariat for religious dialogue and proposed that UN adopt a declaration enshrining religion's key role in peace, justice and freedom.
He stressed Bahrain's support to Madrid July 2008 declaration of unity and equality between human races, in addition to tackling terrorism, at Saudi King Abdulla's initiative.
For centuries, Islam has been at the forefront of continuous dialogue, openness and social togetherness, His Majesty said, adding that human rights are at the very core of its doctrines.
Earlier, His Majesty held talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and hailed its role in reinforcing world peace and stability.-TradeArabia News Service