THE FIRST-EVER papal visit to Arabia was a sign of increasing religious tolerance in the Muslim world. The Mass Pope Francis celebrated in Abu Dhabi, before 120,000 Christians, was the first public Christian liturgy on the Arab Peninsula since Islam’s rise in the 7th century.
But the hospitality shown to the Pope cannot hide the fact that Christian worship in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is heavily restricted; not to mention that Arabia’s biggest player, Saudi Arabia, doesn’t permit any churches at all. The Emirates (UAE) are also no exception in the Arab world when it comes to conversions from Islam to Christianity. It is simply forbidden. To read the full text of ACNUSA Chairman George Marlin’s take on the papal visit to Arabia, please click here.