ABU DHABI // The leader of the Malankara Indian Orthodox Church highlighted similarities between Islam and his church during a visit to the UAE.
Worshippers gathered at the National Theatre to hear Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, the reigning Catholicos of the East and supreme head of the church.
The trip was part of a series of visits to prominent churches since his appointment as supreme head in November 2010.
The Catholicos hailed the policy of respect for worshippers of other religions in the UAE, allowing expatriates to practise their faith, and noted that the country has a peaceful coexistence of all religions. He also paid tribute to the ruling family for their support of the UAE's 50,000-member Indian Orthodox community.
Dignitaries at the event included Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and MK Lokesh, the Indian ambassador.
The Catholicos praised the charitable contributions of church members in the UAE.
"May God shower His unending blessings upon this blessed land and her inhabitants, and let us pray together for a peaceful world where each and every creature of God is cared for," he said.
He also visited St George Orthodox Cathedral in Abu Dhabi for centenary celebrations of the re-establishment of the Orthodox church in India.