UAE religious official meets Pope Francis in Vatican

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah and the pontiff meet on the sidelines of the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative forum

Jan 17, 2020

January 17, 2020


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The head of the UAE's Fatwa Council met Pope Francis in the Vatican City on Wednesday.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, who is also president of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, was in Rome for the Abrahamic Faiths Initiative forum this week.

The form ended on Wednesday with a meeting held at the pontiff's private residence to review concluding remarks. During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and Pope Francis discussed ways of promoting interfaith co-operation and supporting human rights.

The meeting, organised by the Multi-Faith Neighbors Network, was attended by more than a dozen other religious leaders from a variety of faiths and sects including Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Riccardo di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome; the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and all Palestine, and Sam Brownback, US ambassador-at-large for

International Religious Freedom.

At the meeting, the religious leaders quoted the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed by the Pope during his landmark visit to the UAE in February last year with the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb.

Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, has boosted ties with the Muslim faith in recent years.

Following his visit to the UAE last year, it was also announced that a mosque, church and synagogue were to be built in Abu Dhabi to symbolise the growing ties between the religions in the Emirates.

The Abrahamic Family House - designed by renowned British architect David Adjaye - is to built on Saadiyat Island.

Islam, Christianity and Judaism are the three main Abrahamic religions because Abraham – or Ibrahim – is important to them all. Adherents consider him an important prophet or father figure.

Updated: January 17, 2020 04:38 PM

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