CSI Parish Abu Dhabi to open soon, holds interfaith gathering

The church building will have the capacity to host 760 followers



Photo by Neeraj Murali
Photo by Neeraj Murali
by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 27 May 2022, 2:29 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 May 2022, 5:32 PM

Church of South India (CSI) Parish Abu Dhabi, a first in the Capital, will be open to public in the coming months, a vicar said during an interfaith gathering.

The 12,000sqft church stands on 4.37 acres of land in Abu Mreikhah, next to the UAE’s first traditional Hindu temple. The land was gifted by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“Now, the church building is ready. We are grateful to the leaders. We congratulate Sheikh Mohamed for becoming the UAE President,” Vicar Lalji M. Philip said. “We are awaiting infrastructure facilities like electricity, water and road connection. We hope to receive it soon.”

The church building will have the capacity to host 760 followers. It has 750 members in Abu Dhabi and 5,000 overall in the country.

The church building will have a main prayer area, multi-purpose hall, choir room, children room, audio-visual room, vicar’s office and balcony with seats. There will be further expansion done in future during the second phase.

Vicar Philip pointed out the significance of the church’s logo, which represents tolerance, coexistence and cooperation as envisioned by the rulers of the UAE. “The equally sized four arms of the cross symbolises equality among all. The lotus flower in the logo proclaims the indigenous nature of the Church of South India and its dependents on the grace of God to serve humanity.”

Vicar Philip welcomed a delegation from the BAPS Hindu Mandir, which was led by Pujya Brahmvihari Swami.

Vicar Philip noted: “We both are brothers. We are from the world’s largest democracy. I thank God that we have got this opportunity to share our brotherhood in the UAE Capital. We will be working very closely with BAPS Hindu Mandir to spread peace and love. We will work towards community development in the UAE.”

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Highlighting the aspect that both the church and the temple are in proximity, Swami underlined: “It is said in this world that you can choose everything but you can’t choose your neighbours. And when you don’t choose, God chooses. I believe this is his great masterplan.”

Vicar Jiju Joseph from Marthoma Church Abu Dhabi participated in the interfaith gathering.


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