The King of Bahrain has donated 9,000 square metres of land to the Vicariate of North Arabia for the edification of.. a Catholic cathedral!
With 9,000 sm (around 100,000 sf) land at its disposal, the new Cathedral won’t dominate the landscape (I think there will have to be all the ancillary buildings, the parking lots, ways in and out, the distances from the neighbouring plots, and so on), but it will be certainly impossible to ignore. I truly hope a very traditional building style will be chosen.
Whilst I will charitably assume (nice as I am) that the King has donated the land to the Church out of a spirit of sincere admiration for Christianity, my less idealistic side leads me to believe this is part of the “charm offensive” presently put in place from all the regime of the region, aimed at making the region not only fairer for the natives, but more attractive for foreigners.
A wise move, if you ask me. It is beautiful to think that, if this is done properly, thousands of immigrant Catholic workers will have the opportunity to attend in a big church, hopefully very Western in its style, able to let them feel at home.
A “thanks!” to the King of Bahrain is certainly in order.