Catholic Church for Saudi Arabia & other muslim countries
The real reason for all these churches being built is found in #4, the last article, which is so Qatar has a chance to host Olympic games. Ignoring the command of the Prophet (sallallahua alayhi wassalam), just so they can make money from the Olympic games... and it seems to be the reason other are following Qatar .
Compare their these actions to this: http://www.wwrn.org/article.php?idd=26035&sec=33&con=44
# 1 First Catholic Church for Saudi Arabia
# 2 Vatican-Saudi talks on Churches
# 3 Father Federico Lombardi
# 4 Saudi Arabia extends hand of friendship to Pope Richard Owen in
First Catholic Church for Saudi Arabia
Published: March 18, 2008
Negotiations are underway to build the first Catholic church in Saudi Arabia with King Abdullah lending his support for its construction. Vatican Radio reports the Vatican and the Saudi government are currently in talks to allow the church despite the kingdoms ban on allowing the construction of any non-Muslim place of worship. No religion other than Islam is allowed to schedule public services, and even the possession of bibles, rosaries, and crucifixes is forbidden. Saudi Arabia is the only country on the Arabian Peninsula without a Catholic Church despite the 800,000 Catholics - virtually all of who are foreign workers. While Saudi Arabia does not have formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See, King Abdullah became the first reigning Saudi monarch ever to visit the Vatican last November.
Commenting after his meeting with the Pope Vatican officials confirmed the Pontiff pressed for permission to open a Catholic church in the kingdom. Holy See spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said that opening a Catholic parish in the Islamic land would be "a historic achievement" for religious freedom and a major step forward for inter-religious dialogue. The apostolic nuncio to Kuwait , Qatar , Yemen , the United Arab Emirates , and Bahrain , Archbishop Paul-Mounged El-Hachem, is reportedly the lead Vatican negotiator in talks with Saudi officials.
Vatican-Saudi talks on Churches
[Archbishop Paul-Mounged el-Hachem (14 March 2008)]
Archbishop Hashem discussed the Saudi talks whilst visiting Qatar . The Vatican is holding talks with Saudi Arabia on building the first church in the kingdom, where some 1.5m Christians are not allowed to worship publicly. Archbishop Paul-Mounged el-Hachem, one of Pope Benedict XVI's most senior Middle East representatives, said the discussions had begun a few weeks ago. But the archbishop cautioned that the Vatican could not predict the outcome. The discussions come in the wake of King Abdullah's historic meeting with the Pope at the Vatican last November. A Catholic-Muslim Forum was also set up by the Pope two weeks ago to repair relations between the two faiths after the crisis caused by a speech he gave in Germany in 2006, in which he appeared to associate Islam with violence. 'Reciprocity' The disclosure of talks between the Vatican and Saudi Arabia, which do not have diplomatic ties, came soon after the first Roman Catholic church in the Qatari capital, Doha, was opened in a service attended by 15,000 people. Archbishop Hachem, the Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Bahrain and the UAE, who attended the inauguration, said he hoped there would soon be a similar church for the many Christians in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. If we manage to obtain authorization for the construction of the first church, it will be an outcome of historic dimensions
Father Federico Lombardi Spokesman for Pope Benedict "Discussions are under way to allow the construction of churches in the kingdom," he said. Although he made clear the outcome was uncertain, the archbishop added that a church in Saudi Arabia would be an important sign of "reciprocity" between Muslims and Christians. The Vatican has noted that Muslims are free to worship openly in Europe and demands religious freedom as a condition for the opening of diplomatic relations. About a million Catholics, many of them migrant workers from the Philippines , live in Saudi Arabia . They are allowed to worship in private, mostly in people's homes, but worship in public places and outward signs of faith, such as crucifixes, are forbidden. The last Christian priest was expelled from the kingdom in 1985. Christians complain that rules are not clear and that the Saudi religious authorities, who enforce the kingdom's conservative brand of Islam, sometimes crack down on legitimate congregations. The authorities cite a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad that only Islam can be practiced in the Arabian Peninsula . A spokesman for Pope Benedict, Father Federico Lombardi, said: "If we manage to obtain authorization for the construction of the first church, it will be an outcome of historic dimensions."
Saudi Arabia extends hand of friendship to Pope
Of the Saudi Arabian population, 94 per cent are Muslim and less than 4 per cent - nearly a million people - Christian, nearly all of them foreign workers. The last Christian priest was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1985.
Qatar, which hopes to bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016, has approved five churches for other Christian denominations, including the Anglican Communion.
Sources: US State Department; Conference of Catholic Bishops
" Austria 's Haider says to ban mosque-building"
(Reuters, August 27, 2007)
Vienna, Austria - Austrian right-wing firebrand Joerg Haider said on Monday he plans to change building laws to prevent mosques and minarets being erected in his home province of Carinthia.
Haider, Carinthia 's governor, said he would ask its parliament to amend the building code to would require towns and villages to consider "religious and cultural tradition" when dealing with construction requests.
"We don't want a clash of cultures and we don't want institutions which are alien to our culture being erected in Western Europe ," Haider said in a statement.
"Muslims have of course the right to practice their religion, but I oppose erecting mosques and minarets as centers to advertise the power of Islam," he said.
His spokesman, Stefan Petzner, said that there were no plans to restrict Muslim prayer rooms, as this would violate Muslims' human rights, and the planned change applied only to dedicated mosques and minarets.
Muslims in Europe are meeting increasing resistance to plans for mosques that befit Islam's status as the continent's second religion after Christianity, with petitions in London , protests in Cologne , a court case in Marseille and violence in Berlin .
However, while all those places have significant Muslim minorities, Haider's Carinthia has the second lowest share of Muslim citizens of all Austrian provinces -- 11,000 out of a population of around 400,000, a Muslim spokesman said.
"It's a ridiculous statement to say he fears a clash of civilizations (in Carinthia )," said Omar al-Rawi, a centre-left lawmaker who is spokesman for the Austrian Muslims' Initiative.
"We don't know of any mosque plans there. His move is meaningless, populist, racist and anti-Islamic," he added.
Haider became known beyond Austria 's borders in the 1990s with remarks seen as xenophobic and as playing down Nazi war crimes as the rightist Freedom Party he then led rose to become the second biggest in Austria .
His new group, which broke away from Freedom after he lost an internal power struggle, has few followers outside his home province and almost failed to enter parliament last year.
Despite his rhetoric against Islam at home, Haider also praises himself for his close ties to Muslim leaders including Libya 's Muammar Gaddafi, whom he calls a personal friend.
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