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HomeIn focusThis is Bahrain: A Rich Tradition of Promoting Peace, Coexistence through Dialogue & Mutual Respect

This is Bahrain: A Rich Tradition of Promoting Peace, Coexistence through Dialogue & Mutual Respect

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“Ignorance is the first enemy of peace, so it is our duty to learn, share and live together by the tenets of faith within a spirit of mutual respect and love.”

Such expressions of wisdom and love came from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as he drew up Bahrain’s firm approach to peaceful coexistence, dialogue, and openness to the world with all its religions, sects, cultures, and ethnicities without discrimination or intolerance.

These inspirational words initiated the celebration of the launch of the “Declaration of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the King Hamad Global Center for Interfaith Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence” in Los Angeles in 2017.

His Majesty emphasized the core of the principles of the domestic and foreign policies of the Kingdom based on the right of belief, religious practice, freedom of worship, and living in Bahrain in peace, security, love, and respect.

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Bahrain has made great efforts to build on these principles. It is no wonder that Bahrain has had, for thousands of years, a unique experience in peaceful coexistence and in embracing all religions, sects, and cultures.

The Kingdom has become an ideal destination for expatriates to live in it in stability and freedom, with ample opportunities to practice their own faith, interact with people from diverse countries, gain insights into the rich local culture, and contribute to the rich pluralism and multiculturalism that characterizes Bahrain.

The capital, Manama stands as a living witness to this unique mosaic of all religions, sects, cultures, and civilizations coexisting peacefully and positively.

For centuries, Manama has been at the core of a diversified human and civilized heritage. It became a melting pot of different cultures and a place of peaceful, religious coexistence.

Pope Francis walks with Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, crown prince of Bahrain, during a private audience at the Vatican Feb. 3, 2020. Pope Francis is set to be the first pope to visit Bahrain Nov. 3-6, 2022. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Manama led the way in the region in hosting over 120 places of worship- mosques, churches, temples, and synagogues. Various religious festivals are celebrated in the streets and shopping malls of the capital.

As one of the most important trade hubs in the region, Bahrain has been a meeting point for thousands of people who came, worked, settled, and found their destiny in safe places of worship.

The “Declaration of the Kingdom of Bahrain” initiative is one of the three inspiring initiatives launched by the “This is Bahrain” association, as a reflection of the depth of the Bahraini experience in promoting coexistence and interfaith dialogue and an embodiment of the vision of His Majesty the King in this field.

The launch of the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence in 2018 was a significant starting point for the Kingdom to become a global station for peace, understanding, and interfaith dialogue.

The inauguration of the King Hamad Chair in Inter-Faith Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence at Sapienza University in Rome – the oldest public university in Europe – is the third important initiative that clearly expressed the King’s interest in education and scientific research, as well as in promoting the Bahrain experience within the international community.

The initiatives were powerful engines to drive forward inter-faith dialogue, education, and enlightenment as potent means to combat terrorism, extremism, violence, and hate.

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The King Hamad Global Center for Interfaith Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence launched the “King Hamad Faith in Leadership fellowship program” in cooperation with the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in Britain, and the King Hamad Cyber-Peace Academy to Promote Tolerance and Coexistence among Young People in New York.

As the official entity tasked with the implementation of interfaith dialogue programs and global peace efforts, the King Hamad Center for Peaceful Coexistence has endeavored to launch and implement strategic programs for the youth.

The “King Hamad Faith – in Leadership” program enabled the graduation of 40 students in two batches as promising future leaders after empowering them to become ambassadors of Bahrain in spreading the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence regionally and globally.

In 2019, the King Hamad Center for Coexistence launched, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the “King Hamad Center for Cyber ​​Peace to Promote Tolerance and Coexistence among Youth”.

The interactive simulation platform over the information network allows participants to work in a virtual world individually or in teams to make decisions on how to respond to issues and challenges related to coexistence. They include injustice, security threats, discrimination, crime, violence, religious intolerance, and others. The program seeks to make young people pioneers in combating cyber terrorism, hate speech, and extremism, in addition to putting an end to all forms of cyber incitement to commit acts of violence and terrorism using advanced technology.

In order to contribute to increasing regional and global awareness of the importance of respecting religions and accepting others to achieve peace and harmony among different peoples and societies, the King Hamad Center for Peaceful Coexistence launched in July 2021 the King Hamad Medal for Peaceful Coexistence.

HM, the King has here a pivotal role in achieving an enlightened vision that is comprehensive and open to coexistence and world peace. There are also the diplomatic efforts exerted by the King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence to empower generations to spread a culture of open dialogue and peaceful coexistence.

Bahrain, thanks to HM the King’s dedicated endeavors and wise vision, and the tireless work of the government headed by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister have succeeded in consolidating its solid principles.

Today, it enjoys a high degree of appreciation, respect, and international praise for its efforts to promote peaceful coexistence among peoples in a way that contributes to the advancement of societies and the dissemination of a culture of peace across the world.

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