CHURCH leaders and Western ambassadors in Bahrain are meeting on
Monday to discuss a strategy to deal with an impending problem: the
Christian cemetery on the island is likely to run out of space
within two years.
The Dean of St Christopher's Cathedral, in Manama, the Very Revd
Christopher Butt, said that the churchmen and ambassadors - members
of the Christian Cemeteries Committee - were expected to send a
delegation to the Bahraini government.
Soaring land prices mean that the island's Christian community
cannot afford to buy a site large enough to become a new cemetery,
and a number of requests for an appropriate plot to be donated by
the government have been made to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The hope is that the government will "agree to set aside a
reasonably sized piece of land that is walled and private - large
enough for some 300 graves. This would be sufficient for the next
30 years," the Dean said.
At present, there are only 20 burial spaces available in the New
Christian Cemetery at Salmabad. "We are not facing a crisis at the
moment," Dean Butt said. "But time is running out. So there is some
anxiety about what would happen if this matter isn't resolved."