Pope hopes African visit shows regard for all faiths

Nairobi, Nov 27 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis said on Friday he hopes his current visit to Africa shows the Catholic Church’s “esteem” for all religions and boost inter-faith ties.

“May my visit to Africa be a sign of the church’s esteem for all religions, and strengthen our bonds of friendship,” Pope Francis tweeted on Friday on his @Pontefix account, which has over 22 million followers.

During the first leg of his three-nation tour, the Pope met religious leaders in Kenya from other faiths and other Christian denominations, who he said should be “prophets of peace” in a violent and hate-driven world.

Referring to attacks carried out by the militant Islamist group al-Shabab in Kenya, he said that god’s name “must never be used to justify hatred and violence”.

Conflict and terrorism fed “on fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration”, Pope Francis told Kenyan diplomats and officials after his arrival in the capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday.

Amid security fears, the Pope is due on Monday to visit a mosque in a volatile part of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), an active war zone which has been hit by Christian-Muslim conflict.

He will fly to the CAR on Sunday from Uganda after a two-day visit there.


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