(MENAFN- Emirates News Agency (WAM))
ABU DHABI, 16th January, 2018 (WAM) -- Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, today welcomed a delegation of senior Christian church leaders from across the GCC, in the presence of Olafur Ragnar Grimssonat, former President of Iceland, at his palace in Abu Dhabi.
Bishops and senior leaders from the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, the Oriental and Orthodox churches and the Protestant community congratulated Sheikh Nahyan for his leadership in promoting tolerance, respect and mutual understanding of Christians, who are welcome guests in the UAE.
Bishop Paul Hinder from the Catholic Church based at St Joseph in Abu Dhabi said, "Abu Dhabi has granted formally hospitality to Christians in allowing them to have worship places since the mid-sixties of the last century. This spirit of openness and tolerance has persisted and even become stronger after the foundation of the UAE. It is an example for other countries in the region and in the world."
"We Anglicans have a great deal for which to be thankful to the UAE, its people, and its ruling family," said the Right Reverend Michael Lewis, Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. "Relations have been exceptionally warm, confident, and purposeful from the time of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan until now, and our churches in multiple locations across the country are eloquent testimony to its gracious hospitality."
The Reverend Canon Andy Thomson from St Andrews Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi, said, "The UAE is blazing a pathway in the region with their long established commitment to the values of tolerance and offering the right to worship to non-Muslim communities."
Sheikh Nahyan drew attention to the important role played by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. "In 2018, we celebrate the wonderful leadership provided by Sheikh Zayed in creating the UAE. He was an eloquent and compelling advocate for tolerance and mutual respect of all peoples, irrespective of their faith, racial or ethnic background. That the UAE is such a tolerant, open, safe and secure place has everything to do with Sheikh Zayed's outstanding legacy," said Sheikh Nahyan.
WAM/Rola Alghoul/Nour Salman
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