Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, the bishop of Rome, and sovereign of the Vatican City State, extended his heartfelt thanks to the esteemed Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar, and the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for their significant support of initiatives aimed at promoting the values of human fraternity and social friendship.
These initiatives are founded on the principle that all humans are created equal and bound together as brothers and sisters in a close-knit relationship.
According to the Italian news agency "Aki," Pope Francis conveyed his appreciation in a message commemorating the fifth anniversary of the signing of the "Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together."
This historic document was co-signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019. The message also coincided with the United Nations-declared International Day of Human Fraternity and the announcement of the new cycle of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity. Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, read the Pope's message at the House of the Abrahamic Family in Abu Dhabi.
In his message, Pope Francis expressed his conviction that solidarity, fraternity, and friendship are key to lifting humanity from the darkness of injustice, hatred, and war. He praised the ongoing journey of dialogue, friendship, and mutual respect that began in Abu Dhabi five years ago and continues to bear fruit.
Pope Francis highlighted the dire consequences of a lack of fraternal solidarity, which leads to environmental destruction, social degradation, and immense suffering for many brothers and sisters worldwide. He called for a focus on principles that can guide humanity from the darkness of injustice, hatred, and war toward the light of a global community characterized by greater social solidarity and brotherly love.
Furthermore, Pope Francis congratulated the winners of the 2024 Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, including renowned heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub, Sister Nelly Leon, Nahdlatul Ulama, and Muhammadiyah. The high number of nominees for the award, he noted, is a further testament to the widespread resonance of the values celebrated and promoted on this special day within the entire human family.