- Jul 8, 2020
Pope Francis’s visit to the UAE from Feb. 3 through Feb. 5 marks the first papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam. The pontiff will visit Abu Dhabi, the headquarters of the Catholic Church’s Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, which covers the UAE, Oman and Yemen.
Pope Francis will “encourage the Catholics throughout the world to continue to put into practice the teachings of the Church regarding dialogue with Muslims” when he visits the United Arab Emirates, according to one expert on interreligious dialogue.
CAFOD, the Catholic international development charity in England and Wales, has joined other nongovernmental organizations in calling for prayer for the desperate humanitarian situation in Yemen.
Earlier this week the Hungarian government announced that they will be providing nearly $1.7 million in aid to a project aimed at supporting hospitals in Syria – an initiative in step with the country’s longstanding support for persecuted Christians, particularly in the Middle East.
As the United Arab Emirates prepares to host Pope Francis in February, the country’s minister of tolerance said the first-ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula will contribute to building bridges at a time of growing nationalism and insularism around the world.
At a gathering of Middle East leaders coinciding with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Syriac Orthodox patriarch emphasized the need to unify efforts against extremism and terrorism.