Pope Francis Winds Up Trip To Egypt

Pope Francis Winds Up Trip To Egypt

On Friday, he comforted Egypt's Christian community after a spate of attacks by Islamic militants, and demanded that Muslim leaders renounce religious fanaticism that leads to violence.

His words echoed his message on the opening day of his visit, when he told an worldwide peace conference at Al-Azhar, Cairo's 1,000-year-old Sunni Muslim seat of learning: "Together let us affirm the incompatibility of violence and faith belief and hatred". Francis was speaking while traveling home from Egypt. He has used the visit to launch a strong appeal for religious freedom and accuse extremists of distorting the merciful nature of God.

"Unless we tear apart the veil clouding our vision and shatter the hardness of our hearts and our prejudices, we will never be able to recognize the face of God", he said.

Religious teachers, in particular, must teach the young to "respond to the incendiary logic of evil by patiently working for the growth of goodness", he said.

Tayeb addressed the status of faith in modern life.

"The main aspect of this visit is that we have now to decide, if we need and want this religion, to look into the past, and study the real religion, not what people say about it".

What is at stake in Egypt, home to one of the world's oldest Christian communities, is to prevent a repeat of what happened in Iraq in the years that followed the 2003 ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein, when militants of al-Qaida - the IS forerunner in Iraq - systematically targeted the country's ancient Christian minority and forced many to flee.

Francis hosted el-Tayeb at the Vatican past year, and his return visit Friday cemented the renewed relationship.

As many as 29 people died then. Egypt's Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility.

Francis departed Cairo shortly before 5 p.m. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi saw the Catholic pontiff off at Cairo Airport.

Francis strongly backed his stance, saying it "merits attention and appreciation".

"With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China". "It is called to condemn and vanquish all violence and terrorism".

What to know as Texas nears passing 'sanctuary city' law
Greg Abbott and the Texas Senate on Thursday in the call to amend the United States Constitution. Department of Homeland Security suspects of violating immigration law.

"Pope Francis is a man of peace and his manner of talking and acting shows that he feels what's happening in the Middle East will bring something new, a new spirit, I hope for this". El-Sissi has been criticized for human rights offenses and stifling free press in the country.

"History does not forgive those who preach justice, but then practice injustice", Francis said.

Trump is expected to make a visit to see Francis next month when he is in Sicily for the G7 gathering of global leaders taking place on 26-27 May.

On each of these stops, as in a gathering with public figures to a luncheon hosted by President El-Sisi, Pope Francis made statements calling for tolerance, peace and an end to violence.

Nagwa Kamal, a maths teacher at a Coptic Catholic school in Cairo, said she was delighted to be in the Argentine pontiff's presence.

In his remarks, the president repeated his denunciation that terrorists can not claim to be Muslim.

True faith, he said, "spurs us on to spread, defend and live out the culture of encounter, dialogue, respect and fraternity".

Francis visited the Cairo church bombed in December alongside Coptic Pope Tawadros II to pray for the 28 people killed in a Christmas season blast previous year and lay flowers in their memory.

On the second day of his visit, the Pope led prayers in the Air Defence Stadium, which was guarded by security forces and helicopters, although distant from crowded areas in Cairo. He ended the day paying tribute to the victims of a December bombing at the Coptic Orthodox cathedral, where the walls are still stained by blood and pocked by shrapnel. As on other foreign visits, Pope Francis will shun armoured limousines during his 27-hour stay and use a normal auto, saying this lets him be nearer the people.

Pope Francis aboard the papal plane April 28.

That phrase is from a prayer by the pope's namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, and it is also the title of the pope's historic encyclical on climate change and the environment. The vast majority of the country's 92 million people are Muslim.