The evolution of Vatican diplomacy

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The Vatican maintains diplomatic relations with 184 countries—a number that has expanded in recent years, especially in the Middle East.

For example, the Arabian Peninsula was formerly an inaccessible territory for Vatican diplomacy. But the situation has changed.

On one hand, some of the countries in the region have opened up to the world due to economic needs. On the other hand, following the Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe, many Muslim leaders publicly rejected the violence. This facilitated dialogue with the Holy See as both have a common interest in telling the world that religion has no business in terrorism.

In the name of God the Creator, all forms of violence are condemned without hesitation, because they are a serious desecration of the Name of God.

Pope Francis became the first pope to visit the Arabian Peninsula. In 2019, he was in the United Arab Emirates. In 2022, he traveled to Bahrain. And in 2023, the Vatican officially established diplomatic relations with the Sultanate of Oman.

2023 was also a good year for relations between the Holy See and Vietnam, a country with a communist history. The Asian country's recognition of the Vatican was a milestone, considering its past and the harsh persecutions carried out against Christians by the government.

The fact that the Vatican has reached agreements with countries opposed to the Christian faith has not always been viewed favorably by the local Catholic communities. For example, in China, there are sectors that do not support the treaty on the appointment of bishops signed between the Chinese government and the Vatican, which will have to be renewed this coming October.


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