Papal visit to UAE is a ‘breakthrough,’ says EU envoy

Catholic News Agency | 2/1/2019 | Staff
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Vatican City, Feb 1, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- The first ever papal visit to the Arab Gulf marks a “historical breakthrough” according to the European Union’s religious freedom envoy. Pope Francis will travel to the United Arab Emirates to attend the Global Conference of Human Fraternity, which begins February 3.

Jan Figel, the EU special envoy for the promotion of religious freedom, spoke to CNA and said that Pope Francis’ upcoming trip will “deepen the ongoing dialogue and sense of responsibility to the representatives and people of the second major religion.”

Day - Conference - Abu - Dhabi - Sheikh

The two day conference in Abu Dhabi is being convened by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. It will consist of three themes: principles of human fraternity, common responsibility in achieving human fraternity, and human fraternity - challenges and opportunities.

According to the Emirates News Agency, the conference “will also highlight efforts to reinforce the overarching concept of citizenship and ethnic extremism.”

Figel - Conference - Leaders

Figel said that the conference, which brings together different religious and societal leaders, had great potential.

“When trusted leaders show their example and commitment for human brotherhood, this is the great contribution to peaceful coexistence in diversity,” he said.

Figel - Post - EU - Envoy - Freedom

Figel has held the post of EU envoy for religious freedom since it was created in May, 2016, shortly after the conferral of the Charlemagne Prize on Pope Francis.

He told CNA that “acting in the spirit of brotherhood, as requested from all of us by the 70 year-old Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should be visible especially among those who claim one God - Creator and Father of all.”

Figel - Developments - Wider - Muslim - World

Figel highlighted developments in the wider Muslim world to advance peace and religious tolerance, recounting a similar conference in the UAE in December 2016, the World Conference on Peace in Muslim Societies.

“That conference was oriented on understanding of civil state...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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