SHARJAH, Father Mesrob Sarkissian, Catholicosal Vicar in the UAE, has stressed the importance of Pope Francis' visit to the UAE from 3rd to 5th February, considering it a historic event as it coincides with the 'Year of Tolerance' in the country.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Sarkissian said, "The UAE's hosting of Pope Francis demonstrates to the world, once again, the values of tolerance and brotherhood that it adopts under the guidance of its wise leadership."
Father Sarkissian pointed out that the relationship between the Armenian Church and the Arab countries is an old one that dates back to the eighth century AD.
"Our presence in the UAE dates back to the 1960s," he said, noting that St. Gregory the illuminator Armenian Church that opened in the Emirate of Sharjah 20 years ago, and the St. Nahadagadz Armenian Church, which opened in the nation's capital, Abu Dhabi, four years ago.
He also thanked H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his efforts to restore the Haghartsin Monastery in Armenia - which dates back to the medieval era - during his visit to the monastery four years ago.
Sarkissian called on the world to visit the UAE, adding that it is a beacon of tolerance and peace, and to get to know the UAE society which enjoys the highest degree of peaceful coexistence and the convergence between religions, peoples and civilisations.
Source: Emirates News Agency