Bahrain Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in Bahrain, go to the Religious Records page.

Online Resources and Websites[edit | edit source],, and can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Christians in Bahrain make up about 14.5% of the population. Bahrain has had a native Christian community for many centuries, with the first recorded presence dating back to the 12th century. Expatriate Christians, however, make up the majority of Christians in Bahrain, while native Christian Bahrainis make up a much smaller community.

Native Christians who hold Bahraini citizenship number approximately 1,000. The majority of Christians are originally from Iraq, Palestine and Jordan, with a small minority having lived in Bahrain for many centuries; the majority have been living as Bahraini citizens for less than a century. There are also smaller numbers of native Christians who originally hail from Lebanon, Syria, and India.

The majority of Christian Bahraini citizens tend to be Orthodox Christians, with the largest church by membership being the Eastern Orthodox Church. They enjoy many equal religious and social freedom.

Foreign citizens who live and work in Bahrain make up the majority of Christians in Bahrain. They include people from Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They belong to various Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches.[1]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Different denominations, different time periods, and practices of different record keepers will effect how much information can be found in the records. This outline will show the types of details which might be found (best case scenario):

Baptisms[edit | edit source]

In Catholic and Anglican records, children were usually baptized a few days after birth, and therefore, the baptism record proves date of birth. Other religions, such as Baptists, baptized at other points in the member's life. Baptism registers might give:

  • baptism date
  • the infant's name
  • parents' names
  • father's occupation
  • status of legitimacy
  • occasionally, names of grandparents
  • names of witnesses or godparents, who may be relatives
  • birth date and place
  • the family's place of residence
  • death information, as an added note or signified by a cross

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Marriage registers can give:

  • the marriage date
  • the names of the bride and groom
  • indicate whether the bride and groom were single or widowed
  • their ages
  • birth dates and places for the bride and groom
  • their residences
  • their occupations
  • birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • parents' names (after 1800)
  • the names of previous spouses and their death dates
  • names of witnesses, who might be relatives.

Burials[edit | edit source]

Burial registers may give:

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date and place of death or burial
  • the deceased's age
  • place of residence
  • cause of death
  • the names of survivors, especially a widow or widower
  • deceased's birth date and place
  • parents' names, or at least the father's name

How to Find Records[edit | edit source]

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of Bahrain.
b. Click on Places within Bahrain and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

You will probably need to write to or email the national archives, the diocese, or local parish priests to find records. SeeLetter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.

Catholic Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing to a Local Parish[edit | edit source]

Earlier records can be held at the diocese, with more recent records still kept in the local parish. To locate the mailing address or e-mail address for a diocese or local parish, consult:

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In August 2012, the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia was created by the Holy See, with its headquarters in Kuwait. The largest Catholic church in the Persian Gulf is to be constructed in Awali, south of Manama, the country's capital. The land for the church is being provided by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa due to a request from Pope Benedict XVI in December 2008, and will cover 9,000 square meters. It will be the headquarters for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, and also open to other Christian denominations. Protests from various Islamist groups have occurred over the donation. Although Bahrain does have a small native Christian population, most Catholics in Bahrain are expatriates from India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, and Western countries. Many parishioners cross the border from Saudi Arabia, where there are no churches and practising Christianity publicly is forbidden. There are currently two churches in the country; Sacred Heart Church, Manama, and Our Lady of the Visitation in Awali in central Bahrain.[2]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Online information is available to current members, for deceased members and immediate family members who are still living. Sign in to FamilySearch and then select Family Tree in the drop-down menu.

Anglican (Episcopal) Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Orthodox Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Eastern Orthodox Christians in Bahrain traditionally belong to the jurisdiction of Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. Eastern Orthodox parish in Bahrain was organized in 2000 by late metropolitan Constantine Papastephanou of Baghdad and Kuwait (1969-2014), who also had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Eastern Orthodox in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.[3]

Pentecostal/Evangelical Church Records[edit | edit source]

Writing for Records[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Christianity in Bahrain", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 April 2020.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Catholic Church in Bahrain", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 1 April 2020.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Christianity in Bahrain", in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 6 April 2020.