30,000 Christians fill Bahrain national stadium for Pope’s Mass
30,000 fill Bahrain national stadium for Pope’s Mass
Thousands of Christians from around the Gulf filled up the 30,000 capacity Bahrain National sports stadium on Saturday as Pope Francis celebrates a public Mass. The Pope is on a four-day visit to Bahrain ministering to the Catholic community in the overwhelmingly Muslim Kingdom.
Pilgrims wearing white shirts and caps waved the yellow and white flags of the Holy See as Francis travelled around the Bahrain National Stadium in his popemobile before Mass. A big cheer erupted when he kissed a young girl in a pink dress who was brought to the vehicle.
Pope Francis is on the first-ever papal visit to the island kingdom that lies off the coast of Saudi Arabia. The primary aim was to participate in a government-sponsored interfaith conference to promote Catholic-Muslim dialogue.
Pope Francis, In his homily urged the Christians to do good, and turn the other cheek, “even when evil is done to us”.
He said “There will be cases of friction, moments of tension, conflicts and opposing viewpoints, but those who follow the Prince of Peace must always strive for peace. And peace cannot be restored if a harsh word is answered with an even harsher one,”
In his homily, he strongly condemned violence “No, we need to ‘disarm’, to shatter the chains of evil, to break the spiral of violence, and to put an end to resentment, complaints and self-pity.” he said
The Pope will end his visit to Bahrain on Sunday with a meeting with the priests and nuns before returning to the Vatican.