Vatican representative Cardinal Fernando Filoni will open the new Catholic church in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, on Friday.
Cardinal Filoni, the Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, will consecrate the 5,000 square metre St Anthony of Padua Church in the Al Jazira Al Hamra district, about 25 km from the city.
Other officials who will attend the event include Archbishop Petar Rajic, Apostolic Nuncio to the Arabian Peninsula and Bishop Paul Hinder, Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia.
“This is a great achievement,” said Fr Galdolf Josef, 73-year-old secretary of Abu Dhabi-based Bishop Paul Hinder, of the Dh18.5-million (N.8bn)church. “Ras Al Khaimah is developing quite a bit, especially its industries and tourism, and so is the number of migrant workers. We’re thankful to the Ruler [of Ras Al Khaimah] for giving us the land.”
There are about 6,000 Catholics in Ras Al Khaimah, said the Swiss prelate.
In the UAE there are an estimated 700,000 Catholics who go to 10 churches and served by about 40 priests speaking a dozen languages.
“The church is very much alive here, in Africa and certainly in Asia. All of the members are migrant workers. Besides Filipinos, Indians and Christian Arabs, we have a growing number of Korean Catholics too. Services in rather small churches here are packed, while in Europe, big and beautiful cathedrals are almost empty,” Fr Galdolf said.
The 1,200-seat church can accommodate up to 1,500 worshippers. Two major roads link the new church to Umm Al Qwain, Ajman and Sharjah.
The existing chapel in RAK’s Al Nakheel district, meant for 500 parishioners, sometimes caters to more than 10 times its capacity.
Though the plot was given 2007, it took about five years to raise the money to build the new house of worship.
Filipina hotel executive Janytte Siega, events manager at the upmarket Banyan Tree resort in RAK, said: “I’m happy we have a much bigger place of worship. It testifies to the religious tolerance here. May God continue to bless and bring abundance to the UAE, protect its leaders and people,” he said.
Cleo, a media officer of RAK Free Trade Zone, said: “I’m excited about this bigger church. Last Ash Wednesday, I had to go home, because the existing church was rather cramped – you can’t even get close to the gate to listen to the priest.”
The new structure has a basement hall while two buildings have offices, meeting and catechism rooms and the priests’ accommodation. The church’s consecration ceremony falls close to the feast of St Anthony of Padua (June 13), patron of lost items and people.
A new church is also under construction in Abu Dhabi’s Mussafah industrial district on a 5,000 square metre land granted by the government.
“The UAE,” said Gandolf, “is probably the most open country to Christians in the region.”
US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.
President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.
However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead
Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.
Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
US Election Is Far From Over — Trump
Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.
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