Pope Francis calls for religious tolerance

The head of the Catholic Church said that terrorism and violence are fed by fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration. 

In his meeting with the inter-religious leaders, including the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) national chairman Abdulghafur El-Busaidy, Pope Francis stressed on the Catholic Church’s commitment to ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue set out at the Second Vatican Council, which is rooted in universality of God’s love.

While recalling the terrorist attacks at the Westgate mall in 2013 and the recent Garissa University attack, the pontiff said that God’s “holy name must never be used to justify hatred and violence.”

“It is sad that young people are being radicalised in the name of religion to sow discord and fear and to tear at the very fabric of our societies. It is important that we are seen as prophets of peace, peacemakers who invite others to live in peace, harmony and mutual respect.  May the Almighty touch the hearts of those who engage in this violence, and grant his peace to our families and communities.” the pontiff said.

Pope Francis also said that inter-religious dialogue is not optional but essential for a wounded world.

“It is my hope that our time together may be a sign of the Church’s esteem for the followers of all religions may it strengthen the bonds of friendship which we already enjoy,” he said.

SOURCE: The East African