Places of worship in Abu Dhabi to be licensed


Places of worship in Abu Dhabi to be licensed

Abu Dhabi - Once the system is in place, 19 places of worship, most of which have existed for more than 33 years, will get licences.

By Wam

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Published: Thu 20 Jun 2019, 6:48 PM

Nineteen non-Muslim places of worship in Abu Dhabi are all set to get legal recognition after authorities announced a plan to grant them licences. Most of these religious institutions have existed for over 33 years. St Andrew's Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi, for instance, predates the union of the UAE and has been the spiritual home of thousands of Christians for over five decades.
The Department of Community Development said on Wednesday that it would establish a legal framework to issue the licences "without prejudice to the UAE's customs and traditions". Churches, temples and gurudwaras will be regulated by the department.
Sultan Al Dhaheri, executive director of community participation at the department, said officials have met with priests and religious leaders to explain the terms and conditions of obtaining a licence.
"If any public or private entities want to establish new places of worship or set up related services, they should contact the department," the official added. "The UAE has invested in providing places of worship to people of all religions. This plays a vital role in promoting the bonds of love and coexistence among the different segments of society."
Abu Dhabi is home to several churches and a gurudwara. The foundation stone for the region's first traditional stone Hindu temple was laid in the Capital in April this year.

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