Dubai - Church marks Year of Tolerance with holy music night in UAE

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - A catholic church in Jebel Ali marked the Year of Tolerance with a Holy Rock Night event over the weekend where 45 children from around 10 nationalities sang songs of unity and togetherness giving out a message of tolerance, love and peace to the audience. - Supplied Photo

The show opened with a choir comprising 45 children in the age group of 7 to 13 years.

A small Catholic church in Jebel Ali marked the Year of Tolerance with a Holy Rock Night event over the weekend where 45 children of 10 nationalities sang songs of unity and togetherness, giving out a message of tolerance, love and peace to the audience. The tolerance event also saw powerful performances by an in-house youth band called RockNSoul (RnS), in which about 25 teenagers and some adults gave out a strong message through rock music which was to trust God, be brave and strive to make a better world that is tolerant.

The Parish Priest of St Francis of Assisi church in Jebel Ali (SFAC), Father Reinhold Sahner, said the church organised a worship night of music and dance, which was led by its in-house Band RockNSoul, to show solidarity and celebrate the Year of Tolerance initiative of the UAE.

"As Christians, we feel very fortunate to be a part of a great country such as the UAE. We thank the UAE for providing us with a safe haven to celebrate and worship in peace and harmony. We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the UAE," Fr Sahner said.

The show opened with a choir comprising 45 children in the age group of 7 to 13 years who sang their special message through a Michael Jackson song titled "We are the World" in front of a packed church. "The message these children aimed to convey was that they are the future of tomorrow and can make the world a better place to live in by enhancing their tolerance levels with all irrespective of religion and culture," Fr Sahner added.

The RnS Band then continued to perform into the night and led an audience of about 500 people from both Christian and non-Christian communities, reinforcing the message of tolerance through song and dance. Many people went home feeling strengthened in their commitment to be tolerant to each other irrespective of their differences.

Young participant Naiomi Thomson, who was part of the holy rock night concert, said: "After nine months of practising, our hard work paid off when we saw the audience enjoying the show. We all want to live in a world that is tolerant and a place where everyone can be at peace and treat each other with respect."

Muthu M, a churchgoer who attended the show, said: "I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed myself surrounded by such a lively and cheerful crowd alongside heartfelt performances and beautiful singers. This was definitely an eye-opener for me to see how other religions show gratitude towards the Almighty."

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