Vis­it­ing evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tians say UAE is a fan­tas­tic friend to the West

The National - News - - NEWS EMIRATES - DANIEL SAN­DER­SON

I think most Mus­lims and Chris­tians don’t re­alise how much in com­mon we have with each other JOEL ROSENBERG US Chris­tian author

The leader of the first mis­sion of Chris­tian evan­gel­i­cals to the UAE has de­scribed the coun­try as a “fan­tas­tic friend” to the West.

Joel Rosenberg , an Amer­i­can author and com­men­ta­tor on the Mid­dle East,met Sheikh Mo­hamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the Armed Forces, on Mon­day.

Rosenberg said a dis­cus­sion on tol­er­ance and the Arab-Is­raeli con­flict had been sched­uled for 30 min­utes but lasted two hours.

The meeting was part of a four-day pro­gramme in which the evan­gel­i­cals met UAE po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and in­flu­en­tial Chris­tians and Mus­lims.

Rosenberg said he pre­sented Sheikh Mo­hamed with a copy of his new novel, in which Iran ac­quires nu­clear weapons and the US, UAE, Saudi Ara­bia and Is­raeli unite against the threat.

He said he thanked the Crown Prince for al­low­ing Chris­tians to prac­tise their faith freely.

“We en­joyed the con­ver­sa­tion we were hav­ing with each other,” the author said. “I think most Mus­lims and Chris­tians don’t re­alise how much in com­mon we have with in terms of our val­ues, pri­or­i­ties and ob­jec­tives.

“I brought Chris­tian lead­ers with me who have enor­mous in­flu­ence in Amer­ica. We are com­ing away more con­vinced than ever that the UAE is a fan­tas­tic friend and ally to the US. More Amer­i­cans def­i­nitely need to know that.”

Rosenberg said he told Sheikh Mo­hamed that he was sur­prised to have been in­vited to the UAE, not least be­cause he holds an Is­raeli pass­port.

But he be­lieved there is now a mo­ment in the Arab-Is­raeli con­flict where re­la­tions could im­prove.

Sheikh Mo­hamed dis­cussed pro­mot­ing tol­er­ance, in­clu­sion, re­spect and the peace­ful co-ex­is­tence be­tween re­li­gious sects dur­ing the meeting, state news agency Wam re­ported.

He em­pha­sised “the im­por­tance of in­cul­cat­ing the val­ues of cul­tural and re­li­gious plu­ral­ism and for­give­ness be­tween fol­low­ers of dif­fer­ent reli­gions as an essen­tial tool to up­root the scourge of ter­ror­ism, ex­trem­ism, fa­nati­cism and ha­tred”.

Also at­tend­ing the meeting were Khal­doon Al Mubarak, chair­man of the Ex­ec­u­tive Af­fairs Au­thor­ity, Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, chair­man of the Abu Dhabi Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Knowl­edge, and Mo­hamed Al Mazrouei, the un­der­sec­re­tary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Mo­hamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the Armed Forces, meets Joel Rosenberg, sec­ond right, at the Sea Palace Mo­hamed Al Ham­madi / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi

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