Mormons in the GCC have been given their own dedicated space in land donated by the government in the UAE, the National reports.
The three-story Abu Dhabi Stake Centre will cater to the Mormom communities in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, the newspaper states. A stake is a group of several congregations.
According to the Deseret News:
The site is a half-acre parcel adjoining other Christian churches in a sector of the city designated for such structures.
Mormon researcher Matthew Martinich said the Latter Day Saint movement, to which Mormons subscribe, has grown into the hundreds and thousands in the Middle East.
In Qatar, membership is around 350 and there are two wards: one for Filipinos and one for Westerners, he told the Salt Lake Tribune in 2011.
During the opening of the center in Abu Dhabi, Elder Jeffrey Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve church-organising body, told the National:
“I love the Middle East. We’re grateful to be there. In our meetings I encouraged the members to obey and sustain the laws of the countries they’re in…
That’s been a blessing, as we’ve been allowed to meet together and to grow as a church. We don’t proselytise but we are growing as more of our members move to the Middle East.”
Credit: Photo courtesy of Intellect Reserve Inc.