Middle East Christian Church Receives Support From An Unlikely Place – the Muslim Royal FamilyChristians in Middle East countries often face terrible persecution. According to a watch list created by Open Doors USA, Middle Eastern countries make up majority of the top ten places where Christians are persecuted and for many of them, the source is Muslim extremists.
But in one predominantly-Muslim Middle East country, Christians are free to express their love for God. In fact, one Christian church received its support from the nation’s royal family. That country is the United Arab Emirates.
The Rev. Andy Thompson has served the Lord in the Middle East for more than two decades, and has faced various challenges in bringing God’s love to the people there. But while it’s dangerous to become a Christian in some Muslim nations, he says it’s very different in the UAE.
“Here in the United Arab Emirates, we have a tolerant climate,” Thompson told CBN in an interview, “and we enjoy a peaceful and harmonious relationship with our Muslim neighbors.”
Thompson, who currently serves at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, is working on a huge project in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital. That project is a large facility that will be able to hold about 4,200 worshippers at any given time: the All Saints Anglican Church building.
The new facility, which is estimated to cost about 20 million UAE dirhams (about $5.4 million), is already two-thirds complete, and is expected to see completion by December this year, the Religion News Service reported.
Thompson said working on it hadn’t been easy. “This is very much a work of faith,” he said.
Thompson said during the first year of its construction, one of the key donors backed out. At that time, he said they were faced with the hard decision to continue or abort the project. Thankfully, parishioners and other donors kept giving and allowed the church construction to push through.
What’s more, Thompson says one of the key donors to the project is not Christian, it is rather the Al Nahyans, the Muslim ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
“The ruling family of Abu Dhabi gifted the land to us and that came about through a high-level delegation visit from the Church of England and we were very pleased to receive the gift of land for the Anglican community,” Thompson said.
When the facility is completed, the plan is to share it with other congregations who have no place of their own. He added that it will have a center for dialogue with people belonging to other faiths, such as 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 told the RNS. “Here we see tolerance in action.”
Date: Apr 28, 2017 | Time-stamp: 3:46 PM | By: JB Cachila ~ Christian Post Contributor | Link: christianpost.com | Title: Middle East Christian Church Receives Support From An Unlikely Place - the Muslim Royal Family| back to the Homepage