For the first time in history Pope Francis came to the United Arab Emirates with an official visit on February 3, 2019. This event is literally historic, because this is the first official visit of the head of the Catholic Church to this Middle Eastern country and the first step in an attempt to bring cultures and civilizations closer.
On February 5, 2019, a Christian mass was held in the open air, conducted by Pope Francis personally. About 150 thousand people, not only Christians, but also Muslims, gathered to participate in this event at the city stadium in Abu Dhabi.
During this visit, Pope Francis and the Supreme Imam of the Al Azhar Ahmed Al Tayeb Mosque laid the stones at the foundations of a new church and a new mosque, which would be built in the capital of the United Arab Emirates in honor of this event. Also, the UAE’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, left their signatures on the foundations of the new temples.
During the visit, His Holiness signed a historic declaration on the peaceful coexistence and solidarity of peoples called "Human Brotherhood," which can be considered a new stage in the history of relations between the Christian and the Muslim world. We live in an era of globalization and a mixture of religions and cultures, as well as the path of peaceful coexistence is the only possible way for humanity to follow.