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Bahrain hosts Mormon leaders for interfaith dialogue

May 28, 2024 at 2:53 pm

A Bahraini man holds up the national flag in Manama, Bahrain on 10 July 2015 [MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP via Getty Images]

Earlier this month, Church Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy and President of the President of the Middle East and North Africa Region at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and his wife, Sister Christine Perkins, met with Dr. Shaikh Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa of Bahrain to discuss potential interfaith projects.

Al-Khalifa, undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and chair of the Board of Trustees of the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence, welcomed the Mormon couple in Bahrain.

According to Church News, citing the Church’s Middle East Newsroom, the meeting focused on strengthening cooperation at regional and international levels. The LDS has had a presence in Manama for over 50 years.

An Instagram post from the King Hamad Global Centre stated: “During the meeting, they touched on issues of common interest, and the two sides looked forward to the importance of strengthening cooperation at the regional and international levels.” The centre, established in 2018, aims to promote coexistence and peace through various activities.

Elder Perkins expressed his positive impressions, saying: “It was great to be in Bahrain and to learn of its history, culture and vision. The efforts of the King Hamad Center show the commitment to a true spirit of interfaith understanding.”

Following the meeting, Elder and Sister Perkins met with local church members.

Last year, the Gulf state hosted the first Muslim-Christian Dialogue Permanent Committee, which was formed per a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Abu Dhabi-based Muslim Council of Elders and the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, in the Vatican City.

The committee is one of the outcomes of Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence, which was hosted by the kingdom in November 2022 in conjunction with the historic official visit to Bahrain of Pope Francis and Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, the chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders.

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