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Pope Francis will create a landmark moment in the UAE as he visits the nation for the first time ever in February 2019.
What Is It?
The UAE is home to over 40 churches which is significantly more centers of worship than all the other GCC countries combined. The Vatican announced the visit to Abu Dhabi from February 3rd to 5th to attend an International Interfaith Meeting on ‘Human Fraternity’.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai welcomed the news with a tweet “The UAE is delighted to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis on the upcoming visit to the UAE. He is a symbol of peace, tolerance and the promotion of brotherhood. We look forward to a historic visit, through which we will seek dialogue on the peaceful coexistence among peoples”.
يسعدنا في دولة الإمارات الترحيب بزيارة قداسة البابا فرنسيس بابا الفاتيكان، الذي يعد رمزا عالميا من رموز السلام والتسامح وتعزيز روابط الأخوة الإنسانية. نتطلع إلى زيارة تاريخية، ننشد عبرها تعظيم فرص الحوار والتعايش السلمي بين الشعوب.. ازدهار السلام غاية تتحقق بالتآلف وتقبل اﻵخر. pic.twitter.com/7qiBhEhqI7
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) December 6, 2018
More than one million Roman Catholics and other Christian expatriates living in the UAE are excited on the first visit of Pope Francis to the UAE. The Vatican said the theme for the Abu Dhabi trip was summed up in the phrase “make me a channel of your peace”.
The UAE prides itself on its religious tolerance and cultural diversity & the hope was the visit would “spread in a special way the peace of God within the hearts of all people of good will”.