When the current leader of Oman, Sultan Qaboos, took over power in 1970, he pointed out to his people: “States that have no spiritual foundation are devoid of substance. In building nations, nothing is more important than the spiritual side. It is this that produces cohesion and unity, and creates the right climate for tolerance, security and good conduct.”
This principle applies not only to intellectual and cultural life, but also to the legal sphere and the Basic Law of the State guarantees all Omani residents the freedom to worship and practice their religion. In Oman there are several houses of worship in the Sultanate where followers of other religions can practice their religious rites in freedom and safety and with the protection of the law.
Yesterday, I attended the ‘First Holy Communion’ of 29 youngsters in the St. Francis Xaviers Church in Salalah-Dhofar. It was ‘their’ special day. Beside the Catholic church and centre there is the Protestant, the Coptic, the Orthodox, the Syrian Orthodox and the Pakistani church.