Oster noted that the emirate applied for the 2022 World Cup to underscore its international importance and reputation. “So it is only appropriate that the spotlight of the public is directed on the country these days and that the problematic aspects are also illuminated.”

Bishop Oster said the emirate had been “catapulted into a new era in recent decades by its oil and gas wealth. Today, a conservative-traditional Islamic society and an economic hypermodernity coexist. It would be unfair to ignore this special situation in the necessary criticism of questionable conditions. But it would also be inappropriate to gloss over limited human rights.”

“Non-Islamic religions, including Christianity, which are strongly represented among migrant workers, are granted freedom only to a limited extent,” the German prelate said.

Oster also said the role of women was “set back” and sexual minorities were prosecuted.

“Experience shows that major sporting events such as world championships and Olympic games do not usually improve the social and political situation in the host countries in the long term,” he added. 

“For this very reason, it remains the task of the international community to continue to support the reform forces in the country even after the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar and not to let up in its attention to human rights.”