Released 14 May 2010
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GENERAL Shaw Clifton has given approval
for the work of The Salvation Army to be officially commenced in the United
Arab Emirates (UAE) as of 1 June 2010. This will bring the number of countries
where the Army operates to 121.
It is less than two years since The Salvation Army’s work started
officially in neighboring Kuwait,
under the leadership of Majors Mike and Teresa Hawley, officers of the USA
Southern Territory. It was known, however, that there has been a long-standing
fellowship of Salvationists from a number of countries resident and working in Dubai, in the UAE.
Majors Hawley were joined in 2009 by Lieutenants Robert and Glenis
Viera, also from the USA Southern Territory, and the work continued to develop
In the same year, exploration started with regard to the possibility of
extending the Army’s ministry into the UAE. An invitation was extended for the
Army to plan a Christmas carol service in Dubai and this was attended by hundreds of people. Meetings then commenced in rented
property in Sharjah.
Working in cooperation with other churches, The Salvation Army's
legal presence in the UAE is growing. Residency permits have been obtained for
Majors Hawley and rented premises have been secured for regular meetings in
both Sharjah and Abu Dhabi,
where significant groups of Tamil-speaking Salvationists live.
The Salvation Army is also developing its relationships with prominent
members of the government, diplomatic and legal communities in the UAE.
Together with the formation of an advisory board, these steps will help ensure
that The Salvation Army becomes part of daily life in the Middle
General Clifton asks that Salvationists around the world pray for
God’s continued blessing upon this newly established expression of Salvation
Submitted by Major Laurie
Robertson, Editor in Chief and Communications Secretary, International
Headquarters, London, England.