On 21st February His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Doha Religious Complex.
He paid visits to the St Isaac and St George Greek Orthodox Church, which has a vibrant congregation from orthodox communities from across the Arab world; the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, which holds masses in twelve different languages, and the Anglican Church of the Epiphany, catering to the many Protestant communities present in Qatar. He then took part in a discussion with Christian community leaders, based there, to hear more about their experiences of living and working in the region. They also discussed the effects of conflict on religious coexistence, for example in Syria.
Father Bill Schwartz, Chaplain of Church of the Epiphany said:
It has been a wonderful experience for me to welcome His Royal Highness to see how our religious communities operate here in Qatar. My parishioners come from all over the world, which has enriched our community and mutual understanding of each other. Thanks to the generosity of the State of Qatar, we have a place to come together and celebrate our faith. It is a testament to Qatar’s tolerance and commitment to inter-faith harmony.
The British Ambassador, Nicholas Hopton said:
I am delighted that HRH The Prince of Wales was able to experience firsthand the vibrant, diverse and unique nature of the Christian community in Qatar. This built on his participation earlier in his visit in an interfaith discussion, chaired by the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue. His Royal Highness has a long experience of working with all religious communities in the UK, especially our growing Muslim community. He has a deep commitment to promoting religious tolerance and to the defence of all faiths, in all areas of the world. It has been a pleasure for us to welcome him here today to see how the culture of religious tolerance flourishes in Qatar.
For over 20 years The Prince of Wales has worked to encourage more tolerance between faith communities. The Prince has made many notable speeches on the subject including one titled “Islam and the West”, which he delivered at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in October 1993.
On the 17th December 2013 The Prince of Wales, accompanied by Prince Ghazi of Jordan visited Coptic and Syriac Communities in London and then hosted a reception for Christians from the Middle-East. At that event The Prince made a speech about the challenges facing Christians in the Middle-East.