St. Andrew’s Church welcomes worship services of 40 congregations, ranging from Syrian Orthodox, Mar Thoma, and Indian Pentecostals to Ethiopian Orthodox, African independent denominations, and Seventh-day Adventists. It is a congregation of the Anglican Diocese of Cypress and the Gulf.
It is now involved in constructing All Saints Anglican Church, which will accommodate 4,200 worshipers.
“Emiratis have long had maritime contacts through their pearl-diving industry and shipping trade with Iraq, Iran, and India,” said the Rev. Canon Andrew Thompson in an interview with Claude Hammond of Religion News Service. “In order to engage in trade, they’ve learned to accept people who believe very differently than themselves. They’ve come to a level of maturity where they feel that they don’t have to fight people of different beliefs.”
Thompson is the senior Anglican chaplain of St Andrew’s Church and author of Christianity in the UAE and Jesus of Arabia.
The new facility for All Saints Anglican Church, which is two-thirds complete, will include a center for dialogue with people of other faiths, especially Muslims. “In some places in the Middle East, and in the West as well, we have seen walls going up and attitudes hardening as people embrace the lies of intolerance,” Thompson said. “Here we see tolerance in action.”
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