Manama, Nov. 1 (BNA): The visit by His Holiness Pope Francis to Bahrain on November 3-6 will be making history as the first by a Pontiff to the Kingdom.
Pope Francis is visiting Bahrain at the invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He will engage in several activities including participation in the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue - East and West for Human Coexistence.
Bahrain is the seventh Arab country and the 58th internationally in the series of visits the Pope has taken since his election on March 13, 2013.
Throughout the visits across the world, he delivered messages of peace and love, and issued calls for global coexistence, reconciliations, renunciation of conflicts and wars, and aspirations for a better future in which a culture of dialogue and peaceful human coexistence prevail.
The first Arab country the Pope visited was Jordan in May 2014 amid huge official, public and media interest locally and globally.
He carried multiple messages of security and coexistence to consolidate the bonds of love, tolerance and fraternity between Muslims and Christians and to strengthen peace among the monotheistic religions in general.
Pope Francis held a mass at Amman International Stadium and visited several historical Christian places and shrines.
Palestine was the second Arab stop in the context of his visit to Jordan. He visited the historic city of Bethlehem in the south of the West Bank on a pilgrimage and peace trip.
He also held a mass in the courtyard of the Church of the Nativity, during which he sent a message of love and peace and issued calls to intensify efforts and initiatives to achieve peace and find solutions in which everyone may have a safe life and live with dignity.
In April 2017, Pope Francis, visited Egypt, 17 years after Pope John Paul II landed in the country in 2000.
The Pope of the Vatican met with Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in Egypt to help foster dialogue between the Eastern Orthodox Christians and the Catholic Christians of the West.
Pope Francis also met with the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, and head of the Muslim Council of Elders Shaikh Professor Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb.
He participated in Al Azhar World Peace Conference, within the resumption of dialogue between East and West between the Vatican and Al-Azhar in order to spread peace, human coexistence and dialogue among religions and to stress that true faith depends on a culture of dialogue, respect and fraternity.
Pope Francis also led a huge mass at the Air Defense Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo during which he called for the renunciation of violence and for the respect of religions.
The fourth Arab visit of the Pope of the Vatican was to the United Arab Emirates in February 2019.
It marked an important historical turning point in the Vatican and Al Azhar Al Sharif leading the constructive dialogue between the Islamic and Christian worlds within mutual understanding and respect and the call to live in peace and coexistence on a common ground - Human fraternity.
The UAE launched during the visit the "Document of Human Fraternity" signed by His Holiness Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Professor Dr. Ahmed Al Tayyib in the presence of UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This visit gained a special symbolic dimension that coincided with the UAE's declaration of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, and the declaration of February 4, the day of signing the document, as the International Day of Human Fraternity under the auspices of the United Nations. The Pope's visit to the UAE also marked the beginning of his visits to the Arabian Peninsula.
About a month after the UAE trip, Pope Francis made a historic visit to Morocco in March 2019, almost 34 years after Pope John Paul II arrived in Casablanca in 1985.
The visit focused on dialogue among religions and how they can contribute to spreading the values of fraternity, peace and tolerance among peoples and nations, and promoting dialogue, understanding and coexistence among different religions.
Pope Francis held a papal mass at the Moulay Abdallah Sports Complex in Rabat, and visited some the most important and famous Islamic historical monuments in Morocco.
The historic visit of His Holiness the Pope to Iraq in March 2021 was the sixth Arab visit. It was his first apostolic visit since November 2019 as trips were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020.
Pope Francis visited several Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad, Najaf, the archaeological and historical city of Ur and the birthplace of Prophet Abraham where he held a mass and prayed for the fraternity between the different religions in Iraq.
He also visited the city of Mosul in the north and met the Christians of Iraq in Al Tahira Church, one of the oldest churches in the city.
During the visit, a "dove of peace" was set free in front of the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church was demolished by the militants of the terrorist organization Daesh in Mosul.
The final statement of the Pope's visit to Iraq affirmed that harmony between followers of religions and coexistence is the only way for humanity's advancement and progress, and the best way to confront the accelerating challenges the world is witnessing.