ABU DHABI: A new Greek orthodox church has been inaugurated by a senior minister in the capital.
Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, inaugurated the Saint Elias Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the presence of Patriarch John X Yazigi, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and the entire East.
Arab and foreign ambassadors, dignitaries, and members of the Greek Orthodox Church also attended the opening ceremony.
Patriarch John X said the late Shaikh Zayed’s legacy has instilled in UAE society the values of peaceful coexistence, tolerance, and respect for all beliefs and cultures, which has been carried forward by the UAE leadership.
In a speech, Shaikh Nahyan expressed his thanks to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their support in establishing this religious edifice in Abu Dhabi.
He welcomed the ecclesiastical delegation and Dr Elie Salem, president of the University of Balamand in Lebanon, to the UAE. “Our presence together in this spiritual celebration is a strong affirmation of the special and strong relationship between the UAE and Lebanon which has always been based on the ideal values and common principles we cherish together,” Shaikh Nahyan said. “We are very pleased to celebrate, with you, the opening of this magnificent cathedral.”
The new church is located in the Musaffah industrial neighbourhood in Abu Dhabi. The plot was donated by the UAE leadership in an area where new churches are erected such as Saint Paul Catholic Church and Saint Martyrs’ Armenian Orthodox Church.
Shaikh Nahyan went on to say that the opening of the Saint Elias Greek Orthodox Cathedral reaffirms the UAE’s values of tolerance, love, and peace.
Patriarch John X delivered a message of thanks to Shaikh Khalifa for his great support, and for spreading the message of tolerance and coexistence across the world.
The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s legacy has instilled within UAE society the values of peaceful coexistence, tolerance, and respect for all beliefs and cultures, which has been carried forward by the UAE leadership, he added.
At the end of the inauguration ceremony, Patriarch John X presented a commemorative gift to Shaikh Nahyan.