UAE church hosts Muslim prayer, Ramadan iftar in name of religious harmony


Published: 2017-06-15 22:05

Last Updated: 2017-06-15 22:05

The Al Ain cathedral hosted an iftar dinner and prayers for 250 Muslims.
The Al Ain cathedral hosted an iftar dinner and prayers for 250 Muslims.

In an inspiring act of religious unity, a cathedral in the UAE opened its doors to dozens of Muslims for Maghrib prayer and an iftar feast.

The parish hall of St George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Simhasana Cathedral in Al Ain welcomed 250 blue-collared workers to its parish on Friday, June 9.

Father Prince Ponnachen said the parish managing committee’s decision to spread the message of harmony and brotherhood this Ramadan was inspired by the UAE leadership.

"UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has shown us the path with many social welfare programmes as part of the 'Year of Giving'. This is our first step towards peace and religious harmony," Ponnachen said.

Meanwhile, Secretary Joseph Varghese of the managing committee said: "Our cathedral is surrounded by labour accommodations. We went to couple of labour accommodation and they gladly accepted our idea. This was an inspirational experience for us. We hope to be a model of brotherhood and religious harmony for others. We will continue this practice in future too."

The majority of labourers invited to the charitable event were from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, all of whom enjoyed 500 food parcels prepared solely by parish members.

According to the event’s planner, Bobbin Skaria, "This is arguably the first-time ever in the UAE that a church has allowed Muslim prayers to be performed in the parish hall. We have learned a lot from the tolerant nature of the UAE leadership."