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Pope Francis Celebrates a Historic Public Mass in UAE

ABU DHABI – Pope Francis on Tuesday, February 5, celebrated a historic public mass for some 170,000 Catholics at a stadium in Abu Dhabi, during the first papal visit to the Muslim Gulf, “AFP” reported Thursday.
The Pope greeted an enthusiastic crowd carrying banners and Vatican banners as it headed to Zayed Sports City Stadium, where an altar with a large cross was erected for an outdoor celebration unprecedented in a country. where worship is usually allowed only in churches.
Francis, who sensitized Muslim communities as the cornerstone of his papacy, concluded a three-day historic visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
Pope’s public comments in Abu Dhabi focused on calls to end wars in the Middle East and to protect the rights of all citizens. In a homily on Tuesday, he addressed tens of thousands of migrant workers living in the United Arab Emirates.
“It is certainly not easy for you to live far from home, to lose the affection of your loved ones and perhaps also to be insecure about the future,” the Pope said, “Lord is always there with you.”
Asian citizens represent approximately 65 percent of the population and play a vital role in all sectors of this oil-rich Gulf state, from construction to services and hotels.
The son of Italian immigrants raised in Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio, or Pope Francisco, paid special attention to migrants and refugees during his papacy.
On Tuesday, inside the stadium, 50,000 Catholics who received a ticket for the mass applauded the Pope. A small group held up a pink poster on which was written: “We, the Catholics in Yemen, love them.”
According to local churches, some 4,000 tickets were given to Muslims to attend mass.
A choir sang hymns while the Pope, accompanied by priests of different nationalities, began the service around 10:30 am (06:30 GMT), broadcast live on Emirati television.
The United Arab Emirates has invited the Pope to visit his “Year of Tolerance” 2019, which has its own designated ministry. The Minister of Tolerance, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, greeted the crowd at the stadium.
(Sahar News/Monitoring Desk)

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