Pope Francis waves during the weekly Angelus prayer in the Vatican. File/AFP
The visit is historic in many ways. Apart from it being the first time a Pontiff will visit the GCC, it is also the first time any Papal visit will coincide with a religious figure as significant as the Grand Imam. Religious tolerance is the need of the hour and I am sure the Global Conference on Human Fraternity will go a long way in bridging religious divides.
I cannot stress more on how important it is to have such deliberations. That an estimated 700 personalities consisting of religious leaders, thinkers and faith representatives will be a part of the conference highlights the magnitude of the meet. UAE’s need praise for their efforts.
The country has been a beacon of hope as far as religious tolerance goes. And as your reports points out the country has a long and proud history of inter-faith dialogue and freedom of religious expression.
I am an expat and have attended services at quite a few churches spread across the emirates. In fact it was very interesting to read that archeologists have found remains of a church and monastery on Sir Bani Yas Island dating back to the 7th Century.
Ivo Fernandes — By email
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