Bajoran spiritual leader who was a leading candidate to become the next kai after the position was vacated by Kai Opaka in 2369. Bareil started his spiritual service as a gardener at a monastery, and even after he became an influential religious leader, he still enjoyed tending the grounds.

During the Cardassian occupation of Bajor he was held at the brutal Relegeth refugee camp. Bareil's main opposition in his bid to become kai was political rival Vedek Winn, who attempted to have Bareil assassinated by engineering an incident on Deep Space 9 that would draw Bareil to the station. But the plot failed and Vedek Bareil survived to continue his bid for kai and continue supporting cooperative relations between Bajor and the Federation. Bareil became romantically involved with Kira Nerys in 2370.

Bareil was favored to become the new kai in 2370, but withdrew from the election when he became tied to the infamous Kendra Valley massacre. No one knew that Bareil's sudden withdrawal from the election was because he had been covering up the role of then-Kai Opaka in the massacre. Bareil knew that Opaka had allowed the Cardassians to kill 42 Bajorans (including her own son) to prevent them from killing over a thousand other Bajorans in the Kendra Valley. Bareil kept the secret for years and willingly sacrificed his political ambitions to protect Opaka's memory when then-Vedek Winn re-opened the investigation in 2370. Once Winn and Kira learned the truth, both appeared likely to preserve the secret. Bareil refused to let his defeat stop him, and in 2371 he accepted the opportunity to become a key advisor to the newly-elected Kai Winn. As Winn's representative, Bareil conducted five months of negotiations with Legate Turrel, laying the groundwork for the historic peace treaty between the Bajorans and the Cardassians. Just prior to the signing of the treaty, Bareil was critically injured in an explosion aboard a Bajoran transport ship. At station Deep Space 9, Bareil refused extraordinary life-prolonging measures so that he could advise Kai Winn during the critical final stages of the talks. Bareil believed it was the will of the Prophets that he had been spared death in the explosion so that he could ensure the success of the peace talks. Bareil died shortly after the signing of the historic peace treaty, leaving Kira devastated.