No cross, no bell, no steeple, no sign.
Why? Because that’s Islamic law for churches:
Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims’ buildings…
There goes the steeple.
(6) are forbidden…to ring church bells or display crosses…
There goes the rest. That’s from Umdat al-Salik, o11.5 — a manual of Islamic law certified by Al-Azhar as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy.
“First Catholic Church Opens in Qatar, Sparking Fear of Backlash Against Christians,” by Sonia Verma for FoxNews (thanks to all who sent this in):
DOHA, Qatar “” Qatar’s first Christian church has no cross, no bell and no steeple.
And when 5,000 faithful flock to Our Lady of the Rosary to celebrate its historic consecration this weekend, they pray no one will notice.
Father Tom Veneracion, the parish priest, is worried about a backlash.
“The idea is to be discreet because we don’t want to inflame any sensitivities,” he says. “There isn’t even a signboard outside the church. No signs at all.”
Qatar’s fledgling Catholic community considers its sprawling $15 million saucer-shaped facility a victory. A 15-minute drive into barren desert, it has been built with the blessing of the nation’s emir.
But some people in this Muslim country have branded it an offense; one prominent politician has called for a national referendum to determine its fate.
And as the church lookd forward to its first Easter service, the controversy is getting considerable attention among this gas-rich country’s press.
“The cross should not be raised in the sky of Qatar, nor should bells toll in Doha,” wrote Lahdan bin Issa al-Muhanada, a leading columnist in Doha’s Al-Arab newspaper….
Read it all.