UAE committed to bridging gap between faiths, says Sheikh Nahyan at church rededication
ABU DHABI // Residents, ambassadors, and religious leaders gathered on Thursday for the rededication of St Andrew’s Church.
Seeing everyone together was a celebration of the country’s commitment towards development and progress, chief guest Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, said.
“That shared commitment fosters the spirit of this country and calls for the intelligence, the talent, and creativity of its citizens and its residents alike.”
Sheikh Nahyan also paid his respects to the President, Sheikh Khalifa, for supporting different faiths.
“With his enlightened leadership, the UAE has committed itself to bridging the gap that separates people of different faiths.”
The Minister also passed on the greetings of the President and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to the gathering.
Bishop Michael Lewis, the Anglican Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, who led the hour-long service, said he was pleased, as always, to visit the UAE.
“It’s always wonderful to come to the Emirates, particularly to Abu Dhabi, because Abu Dhabi and the church have always felt at home with one another.
“The presence of St Andrew’s Church is a long one here, and we’re delighted to be hosted in this Muslim majority country by the citizens and by the Ruling Family.”
Also present was Rev Clive Windebank, chaplain of St Andrew’s Church from 2003 to 2010, who said the freedom to practise religion was very much appreciated.
The church was closed for nine months as renovations took place, said Rev Canon Andy Thompson, the chaplain.
Thursday’s rededication service had been much awaited, he said.
Built in 1984, the church has a weekly congregation of 10,000 to 15,000 worshippers.
Among the leaders present were Bishop Paul Hinder of the Roman Catholic Church, Pastor Cameron Arensen of the Evangelical Church, Rev Heejin Kang of the Korean Methodist Church, and Rev Moritz Drucker of the German Lutheran Church.
Updated: October 8, 2015 04:00 AM