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UAE's CSI Church and BAPS Temple: Visitors Beware of Rules and Fines Up to Dh3 Million

The guidelines to follow when visiting these sacred sites in the Emirates

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on April 30, 2024, 14:56:14

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uae csi church, baps temple, non muslim places of worship, regulations

The newest CSI church has become the talk of the town, boasting a design inspired by 'wings of angels'.

Opening its doors to the public on May 5, this place of worship stands opposite the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, occupying 4.37 acres of land in Abu Mureikha. Generously gifted by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, this magnificent temple has already drawn crowds of residents and tourists alike.

For those planning to visit these non-Muslim places of worship, understanding the proper etiquette and regulations is essential to ensure safety and harmony within the community. Here are the guidelines to follow when visiting these sacred sites in the Emirates.

Regulations in Effect

To safeguard these places of worship from misuse, the UAE has enacted specific laws applicable to both visitors and administrators of these revered sites.

  •   Avoid disrespecting the teachings of any religion, sect, or belief system.
  •   Refrain from using the temple or prayer rooms for any purpose other than their intended use.
  •   Avoid involvement in the country's internal or external affairs, including politics, laws, or actions that may disrupt public order, within these premises.
  •   Do not incite sectarian, racial, religious, or ethnic tensions, or promote extremism or violence in any manner.
  •   Abstain from activities aimed at advocating for a particular religion, sect, or belief.
  •   Perform religious practices only within the designated areas of these structures and refrain from conducting rituals outside these areas.
  •   Prohibit any rituals or practices that may endanger the safety or well-being of individuals, visitors, or workers within these premises.
  •   Obtain approval from the competent authority before organizing conferences, seminars, gatherings, or events.
  •   Avoid affiliations with foreign institutions, organizations, or entities without proper authorisation.
  •   Ensure that funds collected are used only for their intended purposes.
  •   Refrain from soliciting donations or publicizing fundraising efforts through various media channels.
  •   Administrators of these institutions must refrain from establishing any formal or informal relationships with diplomatic or official institutions of foreign states.
  •   Do not engage in internal or foreign political activities or utilize the place of worship for such purposes.

Penalties for Violations

Under the UAE's Federal Law (9) of 2023 regulating non-Muslim places of worship, severe penalties are imposed for breaching the aforementioned regulations and other stipulations outlined in this law.

The fines for violations range from Dh100,000 to Dh3 million, depending on the gravity of the offense.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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