Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 10:45:01 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Pope Francis holds historic public mass in UAE

photo by AP photo

Pope Francis, who has made outreach to Muslim communities a cornerstone of his papacy, leads mass for some 170,000 of the estimated one million Catholics in the United Arab Emirates during a historic visit to the Gulf.

By
06th-Feb-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AFP, Abu Dhabi  :
Pope Francis held a historic public mass for an estimated 170,000 Catholics at a stadium in the capital of the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, capping the first ever papal visit to the Gulf where Islam was born.
The pontiff waved at the enthusiastic crowd carrying yellow Vatican flags and banners as he rode in an open-top Popemobile into Zayed Sports City Stadium, where an altar with a large cross was set up for the unprecedented open-air service in a country that normally restricts worship to inside churches.
The UAE borders Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, but unlike its larger neighbour, which outlaws all non-Muslim places of worship, Abu Dhabi allows Christians among its large migrant workforce to practise their faith discreetly.
Francis, who has made outreach to Muslim communities a cornerstone of his papacy, wrapped up his historic three-day visit with the mass.
The pope's public comments in Abu Dhabi have centered on calls to end wars across the Middle East and protect the rights of all citizens. In a homily on Tuesday, he turned to the tens of thousands of migrant workers living in the Emirates.
"It is most certainly not easy for you to live far from home, missing the affection of your loved ones, and perhaps also feeling uncertainty about the future," the pope said. "But the Lord is faithful and does not abandon his people."
Pope Francis' trip has been warmly welcomed by Filipino and Indian Catholics among the UAE's huge migrant workforce. About one million Catholics live in the country, or about one in 10 of UAE residents.
Asian nationals make up some 65 percent of the population and are crucial to all sectors in the oil-rich Gulf state, from construction to services and hotels.
The son of Italian immigrants who was raised in Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio-or Pope Francis-has paid particular attention to migrants and refugees during his papacy.
Inside the stadium on Tuesday, 50,000 Catholics with tickets to the mass cheered the pope on, with one small group hoisting a pink posterboard which read: "We the Catholics of Yemen love you".
Another 120,000 gathered outside, watching via video link on large screens.
Parishes across the UAE said 135,000 tickets to the pope's mass were distributed to parishioners. Some 4,000 tickets had been given to Muslims to attend the mass, according to the local churches.
A choir sang hymns as the pope, joined by priests of different nationalities, began the service at around 10:30 (0630 GMT), broadcast live on Emirati television.
The UAE invited the pope to visit as part of its 2019 "Year of Tolerance" which has its own designated ministry. Tolerance Minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak greeted the crowd at the stadium.
·On Monday, the pope called for an end to wars in the turbulent Middle East, including in Yemen and Syria, at a meeting with a top sheikh and rabbi in the UAE.
All religious leaders had a "duty to reject every nuance of approval from the word war", he told the interfaith meeting.
"I am thinking in particular of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya," he said.
Yemen is in the grip of what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, triggered by the intervention of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies in a civil war between the government and Shiite Muslim rebels.
While the pope did not openly discuss politics, he called for "the full recognition" of the rights of people across the Middle East, a potential reference to Christian minorities and communities including Shiites in Saudi Arabia, refugees, migrants and stateless peoples.
"I look forward to societies where people of different beliefs have the same right of citizenship and where only in the case of violence in any of its forms is that right removed," he said.
At their meeting Monday, the pope and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's prestigious seat of learning, signed a document on "human fraternity for world peace", hailed by the Vatican as an "important step forward in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims".
It called for "freedom of belief", the "promotion of a culture of tolerance", the "protection of places of worship" and "full citizenship" rights for minorities.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Cricket »

Windies captain Holder banned for slow over-rate


AFP, Dubai :West Indies captain Jason Holder has been suspended for the third and final Test against England due to his team's slow over-rate during their victory in Antigua last week, the ICC announced on Monday.Cricket's governing body banned Holder, despite the hosts playing four seamers and the regular fall ...

Cricket »

Dhaka Dynamites move into Qualifiers stage


Sports Reporter :Dhaka Dynamites moved into the Qualifiers stage after beating Chittagong Vikings by six wickets in their Eliminator phase of the UCB 6th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Monday. On the other hand, Chittagong Vikings were eliminated ...

Editorial »

Save the children from the pain of early marriage


A madrasa teacher and an imam of a mosque have been beaten up allegedly for preventing a child marriage at Hatiya Upazila in Noakhali. Of them, one is a teacher of Darul Arqam Ebtedayee Madrasa, and another is imam of a mosque in the Upazila's Purbo Rasulpur area.Madrasa teacher said ...

International »

Saudi leaders may be responsible for activists' torture: UK MPs


Al Jazeera News :Three British lawmakers on Monday endorsed reports stating that women activists detained in Saudi Arabia have been tortured, and said responsibility for what is likely a violation of international law could lie with "Saudi authorities at the highest level".The conclusions of the panel indicate growing uneasiness among ...

Entertainment »

Taapsee wraps up Mission Mangal shoot


Kriti Sanon aces the cover of Grazia’s February issue. The actress is effortlessly sporting a chic look on the cover. Wearing a printed shirt, cropped jeans, stone ring and a metal bracelet, Kriti Sanon looks strikingly attractive in the cover picture. Kriti as an actor always been grounded and doing ...

Editorial »

Don't let 'Hercules' to take law in his own hands


POLICE on Friday recovered the bullet-hit body of a suspect rapist identified as Rakib in Jhalakathi's Rajapur Upazila. A note tied around his neck wrote, "… this is the consequence of a rapist. The rapists must be careful…Hercules."  It was third identical incident where suspected rapists were found dead with ...

Cricket »

Holder, Roach propel Windies to series triumph


Windies followed up their determined batting effort with an equally disciplined bowling show to wrap up the Antigua Test and, with that, the series inside three days on Saturday. Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph ran through the English top-order while Kemar Roach rattled the lower to bowl out England for ...

International »

US sees limitations on reuniting migrant families


AP, San Diego :The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite what may be thousands of migrant children who have been separated from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed.Jonathan White, who leads the Health and Human Services Department's efforts ...

International »

Change expected in El Salvador Presidential election


AFP, San Salvador  :Nayib Bukele is favorite to win when voters head to the polls in El Salvador on Sunday to elect a new president they hope will lead them away from gang violence and widespread poverty.The 37-year-old former mayor of the capital San Salvador is hoping to usher in ...

City »

Housing and Public Works Minister SM Rezaul Karim being greeted by Chief Engineer of LGED Md Abul Kalam Azad during his visit at LGED Headquarters yesterday.


Entertainment »

Tamanna not to return country this month


Entertainment Report :At the end of last year once popular film actress Tamanna said that she might return to Bangladesh in February. For this reason, some directors also talked with her in Sweden before her coming. But yesterday she told this correspondent over mobile phone that due to her present ...

Cricket »

Guptill might miss the fifth ODI against India


The right-handed batsman, Martin Guptill might miss the fifth and final ODI against India which is scheduled to be played in Wellington on 3rd February. He sustained a back injury during the practice session ahead of the last game of the five-match ODI series. Guptill, who could not control the ...

Editorial »

Hope for checking question paper leakage


THE Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations began at 3,497 centres under ten Education Boards across the country yesterday. The written exams will end on February 26 and the practical tests would be held from February 27 to March 14. A total of 21,35,333 students -- 10,70,441 boys and ...

International »

Venezuela`s Guaido extends olive branch to China


AFP, Beijing :Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido has promised China he will honour bilateral agreements and said he was ready to start a dialogue with Beijing "as soon as possible".Guaido's comments to the South China Morning Post, published Saturday, appear aimed at laying to rest questions over whether his political ...

International »

North Korean Christians keep faith underground amid crackdowns


AP, Seoul :One North Korean defector in Seoul describes her family back home quietly singing Christian hymns every Sunday while someone stood watch for informers. A second cowered under a blanket or in the toilet when praying in the North. Yet another recalls seeing a fellow prison inmate who'd been ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news