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The Prince of Wales in Qatar, UAE and Bahrain: Day Five

21st February 2014

The Prince of Wales meets worshippers during his visit to the Doha Religious Complex

The Prince of Wales meets worshippers during his visit to the Doha Religious Complex

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On the fifth day of The Prince of Wales's tour of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, His Royal Highness visited the Doha Religious Complex.  The Prince paid visits to the St Isaac and St George Greek Orthodox Church, which has a vibrant congregation from orthodox communities from across the Arab world; the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, which holds masses in twelve different languages, and the Anglican Church of the Epiphany, catering to the many Protestant communities present in Qatar. After which, His Royal Highness took part in a discussion with Christian community leaders, based there, to hear more about their experiences of living and working in the region.  

His Royal Highness lit a candle in the Greek Orthodox Church, and also watched a service from the balcony in the Catholic Church- much to the surprise of the choir who were positioned next to him.

The Prince was mobbed by worshippers as he left the Anglican Centre. The Prince met worshippers from Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Kerala in India (Where The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited in 2013), Nigeria, Zimbabwe and many other countries. Children from Nigeria screamed with delight as they saw The Prince approaching with one of the young men in the crowd said "It's Mr Prince Charles from England." 

Father Bill Schwartz, Chaplain of Church of the Epiphany said “It has been a wonderful experience for me to welcome His Royal Highness to see how our religious communities operate here in Qatar.  My parishioners come from all over the world, which has enriched our community and mutual understanding of each other.  Thanks to the generosity of the State of Qatar, we have a place to come together and celebrate our faith. It is a testament to Qatar’s tolerance and commitment to inter-faith harmony.”

The British Ambassador, Nicholas Hopton said “It was great that HRH The Prince of Wales was able to experience first-hand the vibrant, diverse and unique nature of the Christian community in Qatar.  This built on his participation earlier in his visit in an interfaith discussion, chaired by the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue.  His Royal Highness has a long experience of working with all religious communities in the UK, especially our growing Muslim community. He has a deep commitment to promoting religious tolerance and to the defence of all faiths, in all areas of the world.  It has been a pleasure for us to welcome him here today to see how the culture of religious tolerance flourishes in Qatar.”

For over 20 years, The Prince of Wales has worked to encourage more tolerance between faith communities. His Royal Highness has made many notable speeches on the subject including one titled "Islam and the West", which he delivered at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in October 1993.

On the 17th December 2013 The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Prince Ghazi of Jordan, visited Coptic and Syriac Communities in London and then hosted a reception for Christians from the Middle-East where he made a speech about the challenges facing Christians in the Middle-East.



The Prince of Wales with The Crown Prince of Bahrain

The Prince of Wales with The Crown Prince of Bahrain

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Later in the day, in Abu Dhabi, The Prince of Wales called on His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.  During the meeting The Prince of Wales passed on the best wishes of Her Majesty The Queen to the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who paid a State visit to the United Kingdom in April 2013. 

The Prince of Wales also travelled to Bahrain where he was received at Sakhir Air Base by The Crown Prince of Bahrain before meeting the King of Bahrain at Bustan Palace, the final engagement of His Royal Highness's four-day tour of the Middle East.

A speech by The Prince of Wales at an Advent reception for Christians from the Middle East

Published on 17th December 2013

It is a particular pleasure to be able to welcome you here during this season of Advent. Although, I must say, standing here, as I am, alongside a "wise man from the East", it does perhaps feel just a little more like Epiphany than Advent at the moment!

If I may say so, I am particularly delighted that my old friend, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, has so kindly taken the trouble to be here this afternoon and, indeed, has spent the whole day with me visiting the Coptic and Syrian Orthodox communities in Hertfordshire and London. His Royal Highness is present today representing King Abdullah II of Jordan at His Majesty's particular request and in his rôle as Chief Adviser to King Abdullah for Religious and Cultural Affairs. His Majesty, whom I had the pleasure of seeing recently when he was in London, is, of course, noted for his many noble initiatives to support tolerance and respect for different faith communities. As well as his famous Amman Message in 2004, His Majesty this Autumn addressed the conference convened by Prince Ghazi in Jordan on the challenges facing Arab Christians. I am deeply grateful to His Majesty for his interest in this area and his support for the Christian communities in the Middle East.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may know, Prince Ghazi himself is not only a noted Islamic scholar as we've heard greatly to our benefit this afternoon, but, as I have just mentioned, has consistently over the years stood up for the rights of Christians around the world. Not only did he have significant involvement in the adoption by the U.N. of the World ...

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