Bahrain Interfaith Center is a non-profit team of voluntary open minded, moderate Bahrainis attempting to protect religious rights, prevent religious and social discrimination and sectarianism, encourage interfaith dialogue, denounce sectarian violence and support peace initiatives. Bahrain Interfaith Center is currently headed by Sheikh Maytham Al Salman.
Bahrain Interfaith Center was created in 2012 with the mission of cultivating harmony among religious groups and sects in Bahrain. We are dedicated to protecting the religious and social rights of people in Bahrain. We will attempt to prevent discrimination, to uphold religious freedom, to investigate cultural and religious rights violations and pressure the government to end sectarian and religious abusive practices and respect international human rights law. To accomplish this, we invite individuals and communities who respect religious and faith pluralism to join our mission in promoting tolerance, confronting sectarianism and religious discrimination and encouraging interfaith dialogue.
We believe that achieving internal and external peace is an agreed upon goal in the majority of all religions and faiths. Thus, it is the role of religious leaders to promote understanding among people of all faiths, and to strongly prohibit all forms of violence and aggression against all people regardless of their faith or race. If religious leaders promote this vision, religious and cultural fears and hatreds will be replaced with understanding and respect.
- Personal worth: People are worthy of respect, support, and caring; simply because they are human. Everyone should be treated in a fair manner regardless of race, religion, and sect.
- Lack of discrimination: Working towards promoting a culture in Bahrain that is free of discrimination on the basis of religion, thought and social background.
- Dignity: The dignity of the human person. We oppose the use of torture and cruel or unusual punishment against people regardless of their thought, religion or social background.
- Democracy: We believe that the promotion of true democracy eliminates discrimination. We also support democratic processes within religious, political, and other structures.
- Promoting Religious neutrality within Governments: We believe governments should treat everyone equally regardless of religion or sect. The government should not promote one religion or sect over another, promote religion over secular beliefs, or promote secular beliefs over religion, accuse a sect of being national and the other being a betrayer.
- Personal freedom: The freedoms of religious beliefs, speech, association, and expression at the individual, congregational and denominational level.
- Freedom of speech: The freedom to compare the beliefs of faith groups with each other.
Bahrain Interfaith Center seeks to promote inter-religious harmony, rather than unity. The problem with seeking unity among religions and sects is the risk of loss of the unique and precious character of each individual religious and spiritual tradition; this understanding is key to our framework.
Inter-religious harmony, on the other hand, is an attainable and highly desirable goal. Such an approach respects, and is enriched by, the particularities of each tradition. Moreover, within each tradition are the resources (philosophical, theological and spiritual teachings and perspectives) that enable each to enter into respectful, appreciative and cooperative relationships with persons and communities of other traditions.
- Freedom of Belief
- Freedom of Expression
- Religious Respect
- Cultural Harmony
- Promoting Religious and Sectarian Hatred
- Faith Harassment
- Faith Suppression
“We may have different religions, different languages and different coloured skin, but we all belong to one human race” Kofi Annan