UAE: Christmas brings joy and hope to locals amid pandemic concerns – News

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Church leaders and believers said the festival “brings hope in the darkness”.



Photo: Expo 2020 Dbuai

Published: Fri 24 Dec 2021, 17:10

Christmas is a day of prayer, hope and joy amid adversity and worry during the Covid-19 pandemic, church leaders and believers have said.

Bishop Paul Hinder, Vicar Apostolic of South Arabia, in his message to the faithful, emphasized that Christmas – marking the birth of Jesus Christ – brings “good news” for all.

“The angel who appeared to the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem told them not to be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy for all,” Bishop Hinder said in his message to St. Joseph of Abu Dhabi.

“Amid the insecurities and the endless threat of the pandemic, we all need the good news that brings joy into our lives. Christmas is a reminder that God has not abandoned us. But took there is to become one of us.

Bishop Hinder noted that in difficult times, members of the community should come to the aid of those who are suffering from any illness, mourning the death of a loved one, worrying about their work or feeling lonely and abandoned.

“Let’s not miss the opportunity to do like God, let’s be with those who need us,” he added.

Hundreds of Christians attended masses in churches held under strict Covid-19 guidelines.

Meanwhile, with the number of new Covid-19 cases reaching more than 1,350 in the country, Christian expats opted for a quieter family celebration.

Brian Carl, a resident for over 12 years, emphasized that health and wellness are more important than partying.

“We just celebrate with close family. We avoid friends. We are trying to keep the virus away. We will have a safe party with family members: my wife and children, my sister and my brother. »

Carl and his family will be praying for a better year 2022 and for the souls who died in the typhoon that hit the Philippines.

“Our loved ones were affected by the typhoon. It’s hard to celebrate. We will pray for things to get better in 2022. We hope for a prosperous New Year for everyone.

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Denis Bancroft, an expat, is delighted to see the malls and streets of Abu Dhabi draped in festival lights.

“Every year, my family and I look forward to Christmas. This year has been more important than before as we are still fighting against the pandemic. New cases have increased. Christmas brings hope in the darkness. We are happy to still be able to mark the festival the same way we do back home,” Bancroft added, as most expats look forward to a day of prayers and celebration with close family members on Saturday.

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