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Wed 8 Apr 2020 05:50 PM

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US ambassador hails UAE as 'beacon' of religious freedom

US ambassador John Rakolta Jr's message comes a day after an announcement that Dubai will host the region's first Mormon temple

US ambassador hails UAE as 'beacon' of religious freedom

The US ambassador in Abu Dhabi has praised the UAE for ‘leading’ during the coronavirus pandemic and for its religious freedoms.

In a statement, ambassador John Rakolta Jr – who took up his post in September – said that he commends the UAE for its leadership at a time of “understandable disruption”, for its close partnership with the United States and for its status as a “beacon for religious freedom in the world.”

Rakolta’s comments come a day after it was announced that the UAE would host the region’s first Mormon temple in Dubai.

“The recent announcement that Dubai will host the first temple to be built by the Church of Latter Day Saints in the Middle East is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to religious freedom,” Rakolta said. “This temple will serve thousands of Latter-day Saints living in the Gulf, the broader Middle East, and Asia.”

“The UAE’s acceptance of all religions continues to grow, and we commend them for their generous welcoming of all faiths,” he added. “The presence of the temple in the Dubai District 2020 is an outstanding legacy for Expo 2020. As the world comes together for Expo, the community of faiths will continue to gather, thanks to the open spirit and warm embrace of the United Arab Emirates.”

There are over 160 Mormon temples around the world, although none of located in the region.  

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