in News April 26, 2017

The Pope’s Visit to Cairo is a Message of Interfaith Unity

When Pope Francis visits Cairo this month he’ll be achieving two very welcome things: a sense of solidarity with Egyptian Christians following the deadly terror attacks on Coptic churches on Palm Sunday; and increased unity between Christians and Muslims in the country.

The Pope will be reaching out to not only members of the Muslim and Christian population, but also to Muslim leaders in Egypt. For during his visit, he will be meeting with Islamic leaders at the al-Azhar University, as well as the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pope Tawadros II.

A state of emergency has been announced in Egypt following the bombings of the churches, which killed at least 47 people and injured more than 100. The terror group Daesh, which is led by a twisted ideology rejected by Muslims and  Islamic leaders around the world, claimed responsibility for the blasts and warned of further attacks.

The Pope’s presence will send a powerful message to Christians and Muslims that these atrocities have no place in religion. His meeting with Islamic leaders immediately following his visit to the targeted churches will be a symbol of interfaith relations and collaboration in fighting the evils of terror, together.

It has been reported that Pope Francis is refusing to travel around Cairo in a bullet-proof vehicle, despite the threat of further attacks. This is seen as a sign of strength and fearlessness in the face of terror.

The Pope’s decision is said to be because he wants to instil a sense of openness and closeness during his visit.

This was backed up by a video message sent from the Vatican to the people of Egypt ahead of the trip. In the film, Pope Francis says he is coming to Egypt “as a friend, as a messenger of peace.”

Crucially, he also says that his travelling to Egypt should be taken as “a message of friendship and respect for all the inhabitants of Egypt and the region, and a message of brotherhood and reconciliation with all the children of Abraham, particularly the Muslim world, in which Egypt holds so important a place.”

The Vatican’s efforts to increase interfaith dialogue and collaboration is much-needed and should be celebrated.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis invited British imams for an audience at the Vatican. In a further sign of interfaith unity, the imams were accompanied from London to the meeting by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster. It was part of the Pope’s efforts to encourage religious leaders – including Muslim scholars – to renounce using religion to justify violence.

His presence in Cairo at this significant time in Egypt will reverberate throughout the world and show people of all faiths and none that strength and hope for the future lies in interfaith unity and collaboration.

When Pope Francis visits Cairo this month he’ll be achieving two very welcome things: a sense of solidarity with Egyptian Christians following the deadly terror attacks on Coptic churches on Palm Sunday; and increased unity between Christians and Muslims in the country.

The Pope will be reaching out to not only members of the Muslim and Christian population, but also to Muslim leaders in Egypt. For during his visit, he will be meeting with Islamic leaders at the al-Azhar University, as well as the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pope Tawadros II.

A state of emergency has been announced in Egypt following the bombings of the churches, which killed at least 47 people and injured more than 100. The terror group Daesh, which is led by a twisted ideology rejected by Muslims and  Islamic leaders around the world, claimed responsibility for the blasts and warned of further attacks.

The Pope’s presence will send a powerful message to Christians and Muslims that these atrocities have no place in religion. His meeting with Islamic leaders immediately following his visit to the targeted churches will be a symbol of interfaith relations and collaboration in fighting the evils of terror, together.

It has been reported that Pope Francis is refusing to travel around Cairo in a bullet-proof vehicle, despite the threat of further attacks. This is seen as a sign of strength and fearlessness in the face of terror.

The Pope’s decision is said to be because he wants to instill a sense of openness and closeness during his visit.

This was backed up by a video message sent from the Vatican to the people of Egypt ahead of the trip. In the film, Pope Francis says he is coming to Egypt “as a friend, as a messenger of peace.”

Crucially, he also says that his travelling to Egypt should be taken as “a message of friendship and respect for all the inhabitants of Egypt and the region, and a message of brotherhood and reconciliation with all the children of Abraham, particularly the Muslim world, in which Egypt holds so important a place.”

The Vatican’s efforts to increase interfaith dialogue and collaboration is much-needed and should be celebrated.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis invited British imams for an audience at the Vatican. In a further sign of interfaith unity, the imams were accompanied from London to the meeting by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster. It was part of the Pope’s efforts to encourage religious leaders – including Muslim scholars – to renounce using religion to justify violence.

His presence in Cairo at this significant time in Egypt will reverberate throughout the world and show people of all faiths and none that strength and hope for the future lies in interfaith unity and collaboration.

 

in News April 26, 2017


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