Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa (foreground), apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriachate of Jerusalem, sits among followers of other religions at interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 4, 2019.
Jordanian Priest on UAE Trip, Human Rights As a Means of Evangelization
While a Dubai government minister explains why tolerance is so important to the UAE — and that the government does not restrict the building of churches.
By Edward Pentin – Posted 2/4/19 at 3:45 PM
Father Rifat Bader, general director of the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media in Amman, Jordan, shares his opinions on Pope Francis' historic Feb. 3-5 visit to the UAE, and in particular the Human Fraternity Meeting which took place on Monday.
The Arab priest says the word fraternity goes beyond mere tolerance, and argues that using the language of human rights and religious freedom is a means of evangelization "but through another door."
St Mary’s church in Dubai is believed to be the largest Catholic parish in the region in terms of attendance. For special liturgical events, more than 100,000 parishioners in attendance is not unusual.
As a licensing official in Dubai, Omar Al-Muthanna is responsible for granting permission to build new churches. He argues in this Feb. 4 interview with the Register that despite the UAE having only 9 churches serving a population of 1 million Catholics, the government will issue permits and provide government necessary assistance to facilitate major occasions.
He also explains why the UAE is so committed to tolerance, the government’s attitude to hardliners, and why he believes tolerance in the country is here to stay.