Vatican envoy asks for more churches in Kuwait
Kuwait: The Vatican Ambassador to Kuwait, also known as the Papal Nuncio, once again reiterated the Church’s appeal to the government for additional places of worship for all Christian sects in Kuwait. Various Christian sects are free to worship in Kuwait but they have legal and limited space in three separate areas in Kuwait City, Hawally and Ahmadi.
Not enough Christian sects in Kuwait include Catholics, Evangelicals, Protestants and Orthodox. About 12 percent to 15 percent of Kuwait’s population, including mostly expatriates, are Christians. Speaking to local reporters marking Vatican National Day, Archbishop Petar Rajic, the Vatican Ambassador to Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, said the current places allocated for Christian worship are not enough for the growing population. “We need places to worship; we need facilities to exercise our religious duties and obligations,” Rajic said. “As the number grows, we need places to worship and this is not just for Catholics, nor for other Christian communities, the Orthodox, Anglicans, and Evangelicals. We all feel the need for additional space for worship, we are growing and thankful that we are able to live, worship and pray to God in this beautiful country Kuwait.”
Residential areas Two months ago, the Ministry of Housing Affairs reportedly ordered religious and charitable organizations in residential areas to vacate or face eviction, according to reports in the local media quoting Minister of Housing Yasser Abul. Some churches and charitable organizations hold their activities in residential areas due to the shortage of officially designated places of worship. Christians are recognized by the state and are allowed to conduct their religious rituals and obligations, but only at their designated places of worship.
Excellent ties Rajic lauded the excellent relations between the Vatican and Kuwait which has been in place for more than 47 years. “Of all the countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Therefore we are glad that we have this tradition of strong cooperation in various fronts,” he said. “We are thankful because Christians can practice their faith, live and co-exist with our Muslim brothers. We have a place to worship here, we have churches, and we can celebrate and pray to God. For spiritual needs and the wellbeing of society and therefore contribute positively to the development of Kuwait,” he said. The Vatican National Day event was graced by Ambassador Waleed Al-Khubaizi, Director of the Economic Department at Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry and attended by dignitaries
By Ben Garcia
Source: Kuwait Times [Link]