Courtesy of Gulf News, December 4th, 2011
About a thousand Christian expatriates gathered in Dubai in a musical celebration on 3rd December to thank the leaders of the UAE for the 40 years of generosity and freedom to practise their faith in the country. More than 100 churches from the seven emirates gathered for the first time for the “Bless UAE” celebrations at the Indian High School in Oud Metha on Thursday night. The event was an expression of the Church’s gratitude to the nation. Over 100 nationalities came to sing praise and celebrate forty years of freedom to assemble and worship.
The UAE is among a number of Muslim countries where there is freedom of religion. The numerous faiths practised in the emirates are a testament to the generosity and kindness of the rulers of the UAE, church leaders said. Abdullah Mohammad Saleh, governor of Dubai International Financial Centre, who graced the event, said, “Dubai and other emirates have always [had similar treatment] for the churches and the mosques … due respect must be accorded to them.”
The highlight of Thursday’s event was a performance by Benny Prasad, an Indian musician, who has created a Guinness World Record by having travelled to every country in the world in the shortest time. The travelling musician said that the celebration of the Spirit of the Union is an opportune time to serve as an encouragement to countries in the region. “You can use the celebration … to influence others as to how they can be united and how they can serve one another and be a blessing,” Prasad said.