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Pope Francis visits Catholic community in Bahrain

STORY: The crowd of about 30,000 people that filled Bahrain's National Stadium was the second-largest gathering for a papal Mass on the Arabian Peninsula, following one that drew more than 100,000 in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.

Hundreds of Catholic foreign workers were bussed in over the 25-km (16-mile) King Fahd Causeway that links Bahrain with Saudi Arabia, where there are no churches and where Catholics cannot worship openly.

In his homily, pope Francis appeared to praise Bahrain's relatively open policy towards non-Muslims.

The prayers of the faithful during the Mass were read in languages spoken by foreign workers including Tagalog, Swahili, Malayalam, Tamil and Konkani.

The Mass was attended by one of the sons of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and several government ministers.