His Majesty King Hamad will officially inaugurate the largest Roman Catholic cathedral in the Arabian Peninsula on December 9 at 11am.

A notice posted on its website added that The Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia, in Awali, will be consecrated the following day, on December 10, at 10am by His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of People.

“In keeping with the instructions from local authorities, only a few representatives will be permitted to attend both the occasions,” said the notice.

Last week, His Majesty’s adviser for diplomatic affairs Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa delivered a written message from the King to Pope Francis, which included an official invitation to visit Bahrain.

The BD5.5 million cathedral is built on 9,000sqm of land donated by His Majesty and can seat up to 2,300 people.

Once opened, the cathedral will become the centre of pastoral services in the whole Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia which covers Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia which has an estimated 2.5m Catholics, mostly migrant workers from different nations and diverse cultures.

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