The visit of Pope Francis to the United Arab Emirates will help promote Islamic-Christian dialogue. This is the thought of Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Vatican dicastery that has jurisdiction over the Apostolic Vicariates in the Arabian peninsula, and on all the Catholic communities of the area.
In fact, the Pope is leaving for the first time in history for the Emirates where he will stop from 3 to 5 February.
“Throughout the peninsula – says the cardinal -, with a large Islamic majority, the Christian presence began with ancient communities of Eastern rite, settled along the coasts of the Persian Gulf, which then expanded throughout the Middle East. Today the presence of Christians in the Arabian peninsula is linked to migrants: there are no indigenous communities, there are some Arab Christians but they are individual individuals “. And on the current situation continues: “The Government of the Emirates allows the Church to manage schools and it is possible to carry out an educational service for the benefit of children and young people, starting from those belonging to the same migrant families. It should be noted that schools (11 educational institutions in all) are not confessional schools, but are open to all, attended mostly by non-Christian students. Here there is already a certain integration, no proselytism, religion is not taught but peaceful coexistence is lived, and the fundamental values of respect and human dignity are promoted, lived and taught. The service of education is essential and is a service to the common good “.
Read the whole interview on the site: Fides.org