I was honored to be quoted about the Pope’s visit to the UAE: It is fitting that the Pope visits in 2019 as the UAE celebrates the Zayed Year of Tolerance. We hear the leadership often reference the important role the church played in starting the first schools and hospitals in the early days before and after the unity of the country.
The leaders today reference Sheikh Zayed’s belief in welcoming others to live peacefully together, regardless of their religion. They carry on that tradition and even have a Minister of Tolerance. More than a million Christians live in the UAE and are free to worship.
There is much common ground to celebrate as it relates to promoting a society of coexistence and acceptance. The pope wants to promote peace and will carry that message to leadership. The UAE’s Charter of Tolerance promotes respect for cultural diversity, and rejection of violence, extremism and racism. I believe the Pope’s message of people working together for peace will be respectfully received.