His Holiness Pope Francis has commenced his historic visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first Papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula.

During an address at an event in Abu Dhabi, His Holiness commended the efforts of the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, saying:

I would like to express my happiness that the first Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, under the theme ‘Child Dignity Online’, was held in Abu Dhabi last November. This event built on the message that was launched a year ago at the Child Dignity Congress held in Rome, to which I gave my full support and encouragement. I would like to thank all faith leaders committed to combatting this issue, and I assure them of the support and participation of the Catholic Church and myself towards this important issue, the protection of minors in all its aspects.

At the same event, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb (Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the President of the Muslim Council of Elders) said:

With the support of all religious leaders, I will endeavour alongside my brother, His Holiness Pope Francis, to ensure the safety and security of our communities for the entirety of our lives. Here, I must pay tribute to the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, held here in Abu Dhabi last November with the support of Al-Azhar and the Vatican. This event was attended by many religious leaders who were present to show their commitment and fulfill their responsibility to protect the dignity of children.

Learn more about the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities here.