Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Religious leaders of the UAE head to US to spread message of peace

From UAE-

A UAE delegation is on its way to Washington DC with a message of peace.

A reverend and a pastor, who lead services in Abu Dhabi churches, will tell the world about the religious freedoms enjoyed by their congregations in an Islamic country.

The delegation — that also comprises officials from government backed anti-radicalisation organisations such as the Muslim Council of Elders, Sawab and Hedayah centres — will be participating in a religious freedom conference, Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, organised by the US State Department.

“I am representing the Christians living in the UAE and what it would be like to be a Christian leader in a Muslim country like the UAE,” said Andy Thompson, head of St Andrew’s Anglican Church in the capital.

“I think what is best for me is to tell a good news story from the Middle East.”

He said some people can have preconceived ideas of what it means to be a Christian living in the Middle East.

“From the Middle East there all sorts of stereotypes of Muslim countries. I can be an unofficial ambassador to explain that Christians are not persecuted in the UAE.

“From the media in the west, they picture a very negative perception of the Islamic community. I will do anything I can to counter that,” Mr Thompson said.

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