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United Arab Emirates

Cairo’s historic Ramadan cannon fires again

By Joseph Hammond — April 23, 2021
(RNS) — Now a familiar way to announce the end of the fast in the Arab world, the tradition is thought to have originated in the 15th century.

Praising Israel-UAE deal, Trump points to influence of evangelicals

By Jack Jenkins — August 17, 2020
WASHINGTON (RNS) — Trump’s focus on the domestic implications of the Israel-United Arab Emirates deal points up the importance of religious conservatives to his strategy in the general election campaign.

In the heart of the Middle East, a fledgling synagogue gets a rabbi

By Yonat Shimron — May 14, 2019
(RNS) — The Jewish Community of the Emirates has so far met in an unmarked home in a residential location in Dubai so as to draw little attention in this predominantly Muslim country.

Pope in historic UAE visit urges faith leaders to reject war

By The Associated Press — February 4, 2019
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Francis' speech to the gathering of faith leaders was the highlight of a 40-hour visit that concludes Tuesday with the first papal Mass on the Arabian Peninsula.

Pope calls for Yemen relief as he heads to UAE

By Nicole Winfield — February 3, 2019
(AP) — “The people are exhausted by the long conflict and many children are hungry, but humanitarian aid isn’t accessible,” Pope Francis said.

A new Anglican church in Abu Dhabi will be a symbol of tolerance

By Claude Hammond — April 14, 2017
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (RNS) The UAE's policy of religious tolerance certainly stands in contrast to nearby countries, such as Saudi Arabia, where the construction of non-Muslim houses of worship is discouraged.

Gulf tourism frenzy in Bosnia polarizes locals

By Jerome Socolovsky — August 22, 2016
SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina -- In a secular country where many Muslims drink alcohol and wear European-style clothing, the arrival of a Saudi-built mall where no alcohol is sold and the sight of burqas and traditional Arab robes is worrying for some.

Marijuana ministries * Chicken blood * Chocolate snakes: July’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — July 31, 2015
Cannabis churches are billowing out across America. Chicken huggers are suing to keep ritual bird blood off Brooklyn’s sidewalks. And a South African prophet is being prosecuted for turning congregants into snakes and snakes into chocolate.

Told ya so! The UAE’s new ‘anti-discrimination’ law is already being abused to censor critics

By Brian Pellot — July 28, 2015
Last week’s royal decree, which leaders touted as a shield against religious hatred and discrimination, is already being used as a sword to suppress government critics.

The UAE’s new anti-discrimination law is a wolf in sheep’s clothing

By Brian Pellot — July 21, 2015
Anti-discrimination laws should protect people. The United Arab Emirates’ new law, issued by royal decree, criminalizes the criticism of religions and ideas. It should be scrapped.
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