Prince Charles backs in­ter­faith talks

The Church of England - - NEWS -

PRINCE CHARLES got most pub­lic­ity for tak­ing part in a sword dance in Saudi Ara­bia but be­hind the scenes one of the most im­por­tant as­pects of his visit to the Mid­dle East may have been the sup­port he gave to im­prov­ing in­ter­faith re­la­tions.

He raised the plight of Chris­tians dur­ing pri­vate talks in Saudi Ara­bia and Qatar and in the lat­ter he vis­ited churches that have been al­lowed to open there.

In the Qatar cap­i­tal of Doha Prince Charles took part in a dis­cus­sion on Chris­tian-Mus­lim re­la­tions. His par­tic­i­pa­tion was praised by a num­ber of schol­ars.

Dr Mark Farha of the Ge­orge­town School of For­eign Serv- ice in Doha praised the Prince for his ‘prin­ci­pled stance’ on the threat of extinction fac­ing Chris­tians in the Mid­dle East.

“In­tol­er­ance is in­tol­er­ance wher­ever it hap­pens and he plays an im­por­tant role as a true bridge-builder that also recog­nises the po­lit­i­cal prob­lems in this re­gion of the world, es­pe­cially Syria,” Dr Farha said.

On Mon­day the Prince vis­ited the Doha re­li­gious com­plex of churches ex­pa­tri­ates may at­tend. There are Angli­can, Ro­man Catholic and Ortho­dox churches there but no na­tional from Qatar can at­tend them.

He also took part in a dis­cus­sion with clergy and re­li­gious lead­ers about their ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing in the re­gion.

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