Positive reactions of the Abu Dhabi meeting

For example, Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, present in Abu Dhabi during the Pope’s visit from 3-5 February, commented: “The conference was very important and fruitful because people of different faiths gathered in one place to speak about a message of love, peace, fraternity, according to the teachings of their respective religions. None of those present said that their religion teaches to hate and kill in the name of God.” Thinking of his country, the cardinal continued: “Citizens in Pakistan can take United Arab Emirates as an example who are celebrating the year of tolerance in 2019. The United Arab Emirates is an Islamic country that offers an example of peace, harmony and tolerance, caring for the fundamental rights of the people who live on its land. The government has given religious communities, including the Catholic Church, land to build their places of prayer and worship.”

Msgr. Method Kilaini, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Bukoba in Tanzania, was also present at the Global Conference of Human Fraternity. The bishop underlined how this meeting demonstrated “that the faithful of Islam want to build peace and harmony in the world. It is a message that first reaches the Muslim world, in Asia but also in Africa.” Thinking in the whole of Africa and in the Declaration signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyib, he says: “This conference and the Declaration signed by the pope and Imam will be very useful in the context of Africa, where Islamic fundamentalist groups are growing. This is because many Islamic fundamentalists come to Africa, starting from the Middle East, and bring to local Muslims a message of hatred, discrimination and extremism.”

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