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Vatican says that Pope to visit Bahrain for conference in November
Pope Francis arrives on a wheelchair to meet with participants in the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (IUSG) at the Vatican, May 5, 2022. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The Vatican announced on Wednesday (Sep 28), Pope Francis will visit predominantly Muslim Bahrain Nov. 3-6 to attend an international conference.

A statement released by the Director of the Holy See Press Office on Wednesday said the Pope had accepted the invitation of the country's civil and ecclesial authorities.

The Vatican said the pope would visit the Gulf island country off the Arabian peninsula to take part in the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence.

During his Apostolic Journey, the Pope will visit the cities of Manama and Awali “on the occasion of the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence.”

In 2019, Francis visited Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the first pontiff to visit the Arabian peninsula and say a Mass there.

Flag of Bahrain - Photo. Shutterstock

Bahrain is about 70% Muslim and, unlike Saudi Arabia, allows the small Christian community - made up mostly of foreign workers - to practice their faith publicly in the two churches there.

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Vatican officials first announced the trip to Bahrain on the flight back from the pope's trip to Kazakhstan earlier this month but did not give the dates.

Wednesday's announcement gave no details of the programme.

Pope Francis will be the first Pope to visit Bahrain.

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