ABU DHABI – Pope Francis arrived in UAE on Monday to share his views with the faith leaders on the theme of religious tolerance, and to highlight the importance of religious freedom.
It was a historic visit of the Christian leader and he met the federation’s leader and a group of Muslim leaders. Pope Francis delivered a speech in the evening before leaving Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. It was the first-ever Papal Mass on the Arabian Peninsula and it drew about 135,000 people from various parts of the country.
In the entire history, this was the highest gathering ever seen, to listen to a Christian leader and worship Christianity. Pope Francis received warm greetings from Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The prince hosted him at his palace to welcome him ceremoniously on Monday.
Before reaching Abu Dhabi in the Sunday evening, Pope Francis spread his words about the current cease-fire in Yemen. He appealed to limit the ongoing ceasefire in Yemen and supply the sufficient amount of food as well as medicines to its people, who are suffering the brunt of war. Pope Francis made this appeal before his landing in UAE to avoid giving this message in the region of Emirati capital. Since Saudi Arabia is an ally of UAE in the Yemen war, he didn’t want to mention the ongoing humanitarian crisis on the hosts’ land as this would have left them in an embarrassing state.
In this visit, there was the involvement of various elements of politics. Pope Francis did not fly near Qatar as all the other four Arab nations are at odds with the place. He even omitted to send greetings to Qatar’s ruler by avoiding Qatari airspace.