Pope Francis, during his visit to Egypt has laid great stressed on the importance of unity between Muslims and Christians. Interfaith dialogue, he said will contour world peace. He emphasized the “incompatibility of violence and faith.”
While speaking at a peace conference at Al-Azhar University, the Pontiff said: “Let us say once more a firm and clear ‘No!’ to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God.”
His visit to Egypt started on Friday, April 28. During his two-day trip intended to nurture Muslim-Christian brotherhood. He also intends to express solidarity with Egypt’s persecuted Coptic Christian minority. Francis opened his speech with “As-Salaam Alaikum,” the customary Muslim greeting.
“In order to prevent conflicts and build peace, it is essential that we spare no effort in eliminating situations of poverty and exploitation where extremism more easily takes root, and in blocking the flow of money and weapons destined to those who provoke violence,” the Pontiff said.
Pope Francis while addressing the conference urged for an end to the “proliferation of arms” and criticized “demagogic forms of populism.” He said: “If they are produced and sold, sooner or later they will be used,” he said. “Only by bringing into the light of day the murky maneuverings that feed the cancer of war can its real causes be prevented. National leaders, institutions and the media are obliged to undertake this urgent and grave task.”
The Pope was greeted by the Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail tarmac at Cairo International Airport. He was later received by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi at the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in Cairo. The leaders stood alongside each other as the pontifical and Egyptian national anthems played.