Pope to visit Abu Dhabi in February

Francis will travel to the United Arab Emirates to take part in an international interfaith meeting on "Human Fraternity" from 3 to 5 February 2019.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis will travel to Abu Dhabi next year. In reporting the announcement today, the Holy See Press Office said that Francis will visit the United Arab Emirates to take part in the international interfaith meeting on "Human Brotherhood" from 3 to 5 February 2019.

The Pope will travel to the Gulf state “In response to the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi” and “of the Catholic Church in the United Arab Emirates.”

This will not be the first visit of a pope in a Muslim or an Arab country. In fact, there are many precedents, from Sudan to Morocco, as well as Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. However, this visit will be the first in a state in the Arabian Peninsula, a region where, with some exceptions, freedom of religion is not respected. (FP)