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Pope Leads Interfaith Peace Meeting in Assisi

  • VOA News

Pope Francis hugs Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, during an interfaith day of prayer for peace, in Assisi, Italy, Sept. 20, 2016.

Pope Francis hugs Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, during an interfaith day of prayer for peace, in Assisi, Italy, Sept. 20, 2016.

Pope Francis met Tuesday with religious leaders from around the world in the Italian town of Assisi, where he condemned increasingly prevalent religious violence in the world.

Francis told the leaders from several religions that “there is no God of war,” and that it is important they tell their followers to pray for peace.

"As we pray today, it would be good if we all felt shame, shame that humans, our brothers and sisters, are capable of doing this,” the Catholic leader said.

While he acknowledged that Western nations have seen recent attacks against their citizens, he said it is “nothing” compared to the fighting in the Middle East “where day and night, bombs fall.”

The pope arrived in Assisi Tuesday morning for the World Day of Prayer event and was scheduled to have lunch with 10 war victims before meeting one-on-one with fellow Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist leaders later in the day.

All assembled religious leaders will separate to pray on their own before meeting again Tuesday night for a ceremony in Assisi’s main square where the pope will speak and pray for war victims.

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