ABU DHABI, 4th February, 2019 (WAM) — The historic visit of Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, to the UAE and his first to the Arabian Peninsula, carries many main messages about the role of the UAE in strengthening efforts of tolerance and coexistence in the region and the world.
In this report, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) monitors the seven most prominent messages of the visit which establish a new stage in the dialogue of religions, bringing civilisations and peoples closer.
International Stature: The visit reflects the stature occupied by the UAE internationally, and the international trust in its capability of influencing and presenting the most balanced model which can replace the theses which caused destruction in the region and their influence that it extended to the world during the last two decades. The visit is considered a clear affirmation that the country’s message, which is based on promoting the meanings of coexistence between religions, is an international message.
Crowning: The visit represents a crowning of the UAE’s continuous efforts in strengthening the tolerance of Islam. The UAE has worked on institutionalising the efforts and intellectual theories expressed by announcing the Ministry of Tolerance, the first of its kind in the world, while it hosted and supported many intellectual centres such as the Hedayah Centre, the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, the Muslim Council of Elders, Sawab Centre, and other institutions.
Social Awareness: The visit sheds light on a unique model presented by the UAE in building a society which is cohesive in its international structure, maintains its religious and cultural identity, and is open to the experiences of the other peoples and civilizations. And the speech of His Holiness the Pope, which he made before his visit, confirms this social awareness. His Holiness said, “The UAE is the land of prosperity and peace, the home of coexistence and meeting, in which many find a safe place to work and live with the freedom which respects the difference.”
A Focal Point: The visit devotes the UAE’s stature and location as the main focal point between the world and the Arab and Islamic countries, especially after its strenuous efforts to confront the hatred and discrimination with all their forms and different sources. This is alongside its success on more than one occasion in gathering different representatives of religions and sects under one roof in an air of constructive dialogue to discuss all issues and challenges which threaten the future of peaceful coexistence.
Trust: The visit reflects the mutual trust between the UAE and the Catholic Church and other non-Islamic religious references in the world, which has developed to the level of a strategic partnership that strengthens the values of peaceful coexistence between the peoples, spreads the values of tolerance among them and creates a communication mechanism which contributes to limiting the intensity of religious and sectarian struggles which have spread in many parts of the world.
Security and Stability: The visit and what accompanies it highlights the level of security and stability which the UAE enjoys, and the reassurance which it provides to all citizens and residents on its soil. It has today become the first choice for holding the biggest events and international occasions. It has also become the preferred destination for all nationalities, races and religions for living, working and achieving their ambitions.