Charles given enthusiastic welcome

Romsey Advertiser: The Prince of Wales in Doha, Qatar (AP) The Prince of Wales in Doha, Qatar (AP)

The Prince of Wales was mobbed by worshippers during a tour of a Qatar religious complex.

Charles met worshippers from a host of countries including Iraq, Syria, Egypt, India, Nigeria and Zimbabwe during yesterday's visit to Doha on the last day of his tour of the Middle East.

As the prince left the centre children from Nigeria screamed with delight as they saw him approaching and one of the young men in the crowd said "It's Mr Prince Charles from England".

During the tour Charles paid visits to the St Isaac and St George Greek Orthodox Church, which has a vibrant congregation from orthodox communities across the Arab world, the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, which holds masses in 12 different languages, and the Anglican Church of the Epiphany, catering to the many Protestant communities present in Qatar.

Father Bill Schwartz, chaplain of the Church of the Epiphany, said: "It has been a wonderful experience for me to welcome His Royal Highness to see how our religious communities operate here in Qatar.

"My parishioners come from all over the world, which has enriched our community and mutual understanding of each other.

"Thanks to the generosity of the State of Qatar, we have a place to come together and celebrate our faith. It is a testament to Qatar's tolerance and commitment to inter-faith harmony."

The British Ambassador, Nicholas Hopton said "It was great that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was able to experience first hand the vibrant, diverse and unique nature of the Christian community in Qatar.

"This built on his participation earlier in his visit in an interfaith discussion, chaired by the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue.

"His Royal Highness has a long experience of working with all religious communities in the UK, especially our growing Muslim community. He has a deep commitment to promoting religious tolerance and to the defence of all faiths, in all areas of the world."

Charles has worked for many years to encourage more tolerance between faith communities.

The Prince has made many speeches on the subject including one titled Islam And The West, which he delivered at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in October 1993.

Last December Charles, accompanied by Prince Ghazi of Jordan, visited Coptic and Syriac Communities in London and then hosted a reception for Christians from the Middle-East.

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