The Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development (DCD) expressed its thanks to all non-Muslim houses of worship for their collaboration and positive response to the guidelines and instructions issued to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, stressing the importance of social solidarity and national vigilance on the part of all members of society.
H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the Chairman of the Department of Community Development, sent out a letter to all non-Muslim houses of worship in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reassuring them that the Department was following up on their positive response to the efforts of the government and the community. "I deeply feel that we have become one community, living on this good land with God’s blessing. We thank Him during times of prosperity and we pray for Him during times of need. We will get through this crisis together. I would like to thank you for the good initiatives you’ve taken, through which you have truly proven to be a part of Abu Dhabi,"he said.
His Excellency added that he was aware of the great role these houses of worship were playing in guiding their members and emphasizing the notion of social responsibility. "I feel happy when I see this spirit of solidarity between the houses of worship. I have taken notice of how you are following up with members of your communities, and of the messages and prayers you are sending out. I greatly appreciate these efforts that will help support people as they face this crisis and will reveal a positive side to the situation. These are the values of faith within all religions," he stated.
Al Khaili then stressed the importance of noble actions during hard times, saying hardships are followed by blessings. "Gold Almighty gave us faith to take refuge in during hard times,"he said, adding that he hoped lines of communication would remain open and that the DCD was ready to place all its capacities at the services of houses of worship to share responsibilities and actions to empower all those who can contribute to facing this crisis.
Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, the Department's Executive Director of Community Participation, noted that the DCD had issued a procedures manual to help houses of worship deal with the coronavirus. The guide covers the safety measures to be taken and adhered to by everyone in Abu Dhabi. Awareness messages were also being sent on a daily basis to help houses of worship use this time the best way possible. "The messages cover health and social issues, and ways of social contribution, with advice written by field experts and made available in several languages," he said emphasizing the need to complement efforts with regular reports to the Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Team through the DCD to keep them regularly up to date with developments.
Al Dhaheri further explained that the Department was regularly communicating with all houses of worship across the Emirate to provide advice, guidance, and information. "We hope to provide the needed materials and support in collaboration with our partner government entities, to ultimately unite efforts and offer the needed support to maintain the safety of those working at the houses of worship and their community members," he said also praising the great role the Emirate was playing in helping congregations conduct immediate and free tests for suspected cases.