While at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo this morning, Pope Benedict received the King of the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain. In other discussions with Vatican officials, the king was thanked for the welcome he has given to Christians in his kingdom.
King Hamad Bin Isa Al- Khalifa’s meeting with other Vatican prelates included a discussion with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. Vatican authorities had the opportunity to thank the king for the welcome he has shown to many Christian immigrants.
A press release from the Holy See, "Emphasis was given to the shared commitment in favor of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, and to the importance of collaboration between Christians, Muslims and Jews for the promotion - in the Middle East and throughout the world - of peace, justice and spiritual and moral values.”
During his audience with Pope Benedict, the king extended an invitation to him to visit Bahrain.
The most recent estimate of Bahrain’s population is 718,000, with Christians comprising around 10 percent of its residents.