Dean's Blog

We mustn’t allow threats of terror to beat us – Friday 3rd July 2014

Threats of violence against mosques and places of worship have clearly had their impact on the size of the congregation on Friday morning as we were down to 18 adults and 7 children. The summer exodus from Bahrain has begun, but this was more than people leaving. In the long term we cannot allow our lives to be ruled by fear and dictated by threat, or we hand the victory to the hands of those who create fear and kindle terror.

meetingWe need to address the issue of security. Yesterday I attended a meeting for leaders of mosques and churches chaired by the Capital Governor with several senior policemen present and yesterday had a helpful telephone conversation with the Regional Security Adviser at the British Embassy, and we will produce an action plan.  But in the end life goes on and, though we need to be sensible and vigilant, we also need to reflect on what it means to be people of faith living in the Middle East at this time and encourage one another.

Last week I preached on our responses to interruptions and that so often the interruptions in our livemeetingare the real agenda (based on the woman who touches the hem of Jesus’ robe while he is heading purposefully to respond to the needs of Jairus’ very sick 12 year old daughter in Mark 5). This week the interruptions have not stopped: I reckon 14 hours this week have been taken up with issues that I did not plan or know about 24 hours before. These have included a  meeting of religious leaders at the International Peace Institute (a United Nations think tank), an IPIinterview together with Jon Lavelle on peace for Bahrain TV and a repeat the following day as the sound quality was poor, a This is Bahrain ghagba meal and prayer for peace at Sacred Heart Church, at which the chief Imam and a Rabbi from Paris were present, a meeting about security, and a wedding reception. I’ll have to be careful what I preach about!