Area: 694 sq. km.
Neighbouring countries: (none: Island country)
Capital City: Manama
Other Cities: Al Muharraq
Ethnic groups: Arabs (66.5%), Asians (31.6%), Europeans (0.9%), Others (1%)
Languages: Arab (official), English
Currency: Bahrain Dinar
Member of: CCG (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf), Arab League, OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference), UN and WTO (World Trade Organization)
(De Agostini, Jan. 2008)
A British Protectorate in 1820, Bahrain has been an independent hereditary monarchy since 14th August 1971. The Constitution has established Islam as the State religion and the Sharia as the basis of Law.
The population of about 1 million inhabitants (UN Statistics 2008). The Christians, of whom more than half are Catholics, amount to about 10% (Sources: Help to the Church in Need 2008 and Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2008).
Relations with the Holy See
Bahrain has diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Apostolic Nuncio is Mgr. Rajic Petar, tit. archbishop of Sarsenterum (2nd Dec. 2009), also Nuncio to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.
BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS OF CELRA – CONFERENCE OF LATIN BISHOPS OF THE ARAB REGION: Nevertheless, it is essential to give firm support and encouragement to those who choose to remain faithful to their homeland in order to prevent it from becoming an archaeological site deprived of ecclesial life
BENEDICT XVI TO THE AMBASSADOR OF BAHRAIN, ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF HIS CREDENTIALS: Your country is also concerned to contribute to establishing an authentic dialogue between cultures and between the members of the different religions. Indeed, it is indispensable that an increasingly sincere understanding between people and among civil and religious groups develop, in order to establish increasingly fraternal relations…