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Cardinal exhorts Catholics in United Arab Emirates to preserve their faith

Catholic World News - June 14, 2013

Preaching at the cathedral in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples urged Catholics to preserve their faith in a challenging climate.

The largely Muslim nation of 5.3 million is 11% Catholic; most Catholics are Asian immigrant workers. The cathedral parish claims over 100,000 members, and Mass is celebrated there in 15 different languages.

“Christians share the principle of the only God and the value of prayer” with Islam, said Cardinal Fernando Filoni. “Here you learn to practice inter-religious coexistence based on mutual respect and collaboration.”

“Today you cannot be a Christian for the simple reason of being born into a Christian family,” he continued. “This is even more true for you … Every day you have the choice to renew faith, giving priority to God, and overcoming temptations from different cultures. The tests which you are subjected to are very often numerous. The temptation to set aside faith is always present and conversion becomes a response to God which must be confirmed many times.”

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