News Release

Church leader participates in the Festival of Harmony at the Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi

Elder Roland J. Bäck, Second Counselor in the Middle East/Africa North Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, participated in the Festival of Harmony on February 15, 2024, at the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

The festival, a 12-day event celebrating the temple’s opening, focused on harmonious living among representatives of different cultures and religions. The temple, the first stone Hindu temple in the UAE, was designed to symbolize community, collaboration and harmony. It was inaugurated on February 14.

Elder Bäck and other Church representatives toured the temple and its facilities during the festival. They also met representatives from various religious organizations operating in the UAE.

The Festival of Harmony included cultural events, sessions and meetings with leaders from different faiths, emphasizing themes of civilization, peace and gratitude.

After the festival, Elder Bäck expressed his gratitude and respect for the opportunity to attend. “It was very generous to receive a special invitation from our Hindu friends to participate in the Festival of Harmony,” Elder Bäck said. “Feeling the spirit of friendship and peace was a good reminder of the importance of those principles. As a Church, we are eager to contribute to fostering such a spirit of coexistence in the UAE and this region.”

Earlier this year, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles highlighted the Church’s respect for other faith traditions, encouraging everyone to “engage in acts of learning … bridging gaps of understanding between different traditions and worldviews.”

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