Monday, April 02, 2007

Anything is possible

Alter 14 centuries without a place of worship, construction of first Catholic Church in Qatar underway

Church to be dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary

Doha, Apr 2, 2007 / 10:54 am (CNA).- After fourteen centuries without a place of worship, the Catholic Church in Qatar, a majority Muslim country, will soon have its first parish in the capital of Doha, which will be dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary.

Catholics in Qatar, many of whom are migrants who have come to the country seeking work, have been pooling their donations for the church’s construction.

Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Arabia and ordinary for the faithful in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, is looking after the development of the project.

“It’s true that it is not easy to be bishop here. But at least it is good to see that the Church’s life is full of vitality,” he said. The religious freedom of Catholics should be respected, he noted, which would bring them much benefits. “It is obvious that the more spiritually satisfied they are the more they can help the country develop,” the bishop stressed.

Bishop Hinder also explained that many immigrant Christians he serves practice their faith more during their time in the region than they do in their own countries. Most immigrants are from the Philippines, Lebanon and India, he said.

“We must accept that they are expatriated in every sense of the word. We are a purely pilgrim church,” Bishop Hinder said, adding that the challenge for the Church there is that “we are a multicultural, multilingual and multiracial church composed of faithful from more or less the whole world.”

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