News / Middle East

    Pope Invites Muslim, Jewish Leaders to Vatican

    Pope Francis Meets Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox Leadersi
    X
    Scott Bobb
    May 26, 2014 4:24 PM
    Pope Francis is completing his trip to the Middle East with a series of meetings with religious and political leaders in Israel. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
    Pope Francis Meets Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox Leaders
    Scott Bobb
    Pope Francis met with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres Monday as he wrapped up his three-day trip to the Middle East.

    Netanyahu told the pope why he believes Israel needed to build a separation barrier around the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

    The Israeli prime minister said that when incitement and terror against Israel ends, there will not be a need for the wall, where Pope Francis stopped and prayed on Sunday.

    Peres thanked the pope for making efforts to restart the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Pope Francis invited Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to the Vatican in June to pray for peace and both men accepted his invitation.

    Papal prayers

    Also Monday, the pope prayed and laid a wreath at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem museum, which commemorates the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust.
     
    He also placed a wreath on the grave of the father of modern Israel, Theodor Herzl. He also met with the two chief rabbis of Jerusalem.
     
    Pope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, MayPope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, May
    x
    Pope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, May
    Pope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, May
    Earlier, the pope met with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein at the Haram al-Sharif, also known as the Dome of the Rock. Speaking at the shrine, he said a visit to the Holy Land would not be complete without a meeting with the Muslim communities.
     
    Speaking in Latin, the pope made a heartfelt plea to all people and communities who look to Abraham, calling on all to respect and love one another as brothers and sisters. He also called for those present to learn to understand the sufferings of others.
     
    The pontiff also prayed at the Wailing Wall.
     
    The Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitch, said for too many years, religion was a source of division. He said that from the wall, which is sacred to the pope, the rabbi, and to millions more around the globe, he called on people of all religions to fight hatred and anti-Semitism.

    Holy site

    On Sunday evening, Pope Francis met with Orthodox ecumenical leader, Patriarch Bartholomew, at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site where many believe Jesus Christ was crucified and buried
     
    Standing as pilgrims in these holy places, we remember in our prayers the entire Middle East, so frequently and lamentably marked by acts of violence and conflict, said Francis. He said we do not forget the many people in the world who are suffering from war, poverty, hunger and persecution.
     
    Patriarch Bartholomew lamented what he called racial discrimination and religious extremism in contemporary society.
     
    "Religious fanaticism already threatens peace in many regions of the globe, where the very gift of life is sacrificed on the altar of religious hatred. In the face of such conditions, the message of the life-giving tomb is urgent and clear: Love the other, the different other, the followers of other faiths and other confessions," said Bartholomew.
     
    The two leaders then embraced. The meeting marked a similar encounter between their predecessors 50 years ago that launched reconciliation efforts after centuries of conflict between the two churches.
     
    The pope on Sunday said mass and met refugees in Bethlehem, in the West Bank. He stopped his convoy to pray at the separation barrier that surrounds most of the city.
     
    On Saturday he said mass in Amman, Jordan and met Syrian refugees near the site on the Jordan River where many believe Jesus was baptized.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: John Stefanyszyn from: Canada
    June 07, 2014 11:34 AM
    ...but to which ‘god’ will Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”), President Peres, and President Abbas be praying to for peace at the Vatican since neither prays to the “same god”?
    Bergoglio….Catholicism
    Peres……..Judaism
    Abbas……..Sunni Islam

    In addition to this,
    : the Catholic religion has redefined Christ to be a representative of political religion, of religious liberty & compromise, under the way of the Roman empire.
    :the Judaic religion rejects Jesus Christ as the Son of God...referring to Him as a blasphemer and false prophet.
    :the religion of Islam also denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God & that He was only a prophet that was not resurrected and not the One Way of Forgiveness /Salvation, claiming instead that Muhammad was the last true messenger (via self righteousness).

    So to which ‘god’ will they be praying for “peace”?
    :::::But there is one common “call it religion” that all three worship, believe in, glorify, and live by.
    ….they will be praying to the ‘god’ of FREEDOM...freedom of self-rights, freedom of self-religions.
    ….Bergoglio….freedom of rights and religions for the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the “non believers”, and the “others”.
    ….Peres…...freedom and rights for Israel ( and they believe that it is right for them to repossess all of the land for Israel)
    ….Abbas...freedom and rights for the state and land of Palestine...the land that they believe is rightly theirs.
    = each believes his way to be right in their own eyes = I will serve and do good for myself first (XES), my neighbor second = way of conflict (and not peace) as Cain killed his brother Abel.

    And this ‘god of fortresses’ dictates that it is RIGHT (a right) to be free to worship ANY ‘god’.

    But there is Only One Creator, whose identity is clearly defined by His Son Jesus Christ….and He said that we are to worship the One and Only Creator and Him Alone, His Will Alone to serve in obedience and love….love for Him and love for the neighbor….and not “my rights”.

    Note...soon the Lord Jesus Christ will return to rule the earth in power according to and in obedience to the Will of the One and Only Creator and NOT according to man’s first love for “his freedom”.....and man will weep and clench his teeth in anger when “his self-freedom” will be no more.

    John Stefanyszyn


    by: Magnus Botchway from: Nsawam
    May 27, 2014 10:56 AM
    just yesterday my driver I work with him said he read the koran and the bible, now pope has invite middle east leaders for peace on june coming,if pope could invite them and is good for moslem to read the bible why can't both religion accept?this I want to know

    by: Jude Ikezu from: Lagos, Nigeria
    May 26, 2014 8:56 PM
    Peace is needed all over the world especially in all war torn nations. Thank God for the wonderful move by Pope Francis I to reconcile the Faiths. I believe with sincere co-operation of all and sundry, the entire world will experience peace in near future. Thank God for your courage and wisdom dear, His Holiness, Pope Francis I.

    by: amir from: new jersey
    May 26, 2014 2:58 PM
    There is no current chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He met the chief Rabbis of Israel.

    by: Nisar Siddiqui
    May 26, 2014 11:54 AM
    V good effort by pop may Allah bring us all together as v all believe that Abraham Alaisalam was too true prophet and great grand father of all our Prophet and the last Prophet Mohammad may peace be upon Him was His Great Great Son.

    by: salome wambui from: kenya
    May 26, 2014 8:53 AM
    We are one in the Spirit and in the Lord.Thank you Pope Francis for bringing different Religious Communities together.Your presence meant a lot and has increased the faith of some unbelievers.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 26, 2014 8:14 AM
    iI want to react to Pope's earlier statement at Bethlehem where he said, “The time has come for everyone to find the courage to be generous and creative in a protracted conflict that has inflicted many wounds.” Yes Pope, we agree. But first and foremost to agree that the land – Bethlehem – in the land of Judea where he stood and made the statement has been known to belong to Israel from ancient times, even in the bible. Today it is occupied by Palestinians. That Israel has not gone forcefully to take it over shows the magnanimity the Pope is preaching has been in the works over time by Israel. And there are so many such places right now occupied by what was known then as Gentiles.

    But aside from this show of charity by Israel, the Pope should not lose sight of the fact of those holy sites to Christianity and perhaps other religions too. What is happening in Iraq, Libya and Mali should be good eye openers to the fact that islam may one day rise to either take over these onerous Christian holy sites or declare them null and void to both destroy and bare Christians and other religions pilgrimages to them. Right as we speak, the Pope may have forgotten the Holy Temple of Jerusalem that the muslims have taken over as their holy site, and with the birth of the Arab Spring which has done nothing but elevate terrorism to state heights, there is no indication the muslims will respect the right of the Christians and others to these holy sites, especially for Christian worship or to share same with the Christians in case they find any reason to have dual respect for such holy sites in islam.

    Yes Pope, we agree to share neighborhood with them, even to absorb them in the Jewish state of Israel, but when they ask to be in charge seems they are asking for too much. On a second thought, since these formerly unknown people who occupied the land that was called the land of Israel, the land of the Jews, who should be integrated into the country of Israel but have refused, yet magnanimously accommodated by the new state of Israel, can be granted greater autonomy they are looking for based on what the original owners of the land have to offer. The Pope should summon the Arab and Islamic leaders to his office to discuss this point so that the much desired peace may return to the Middle East - IF HE MEANS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    by: jean brown from: saint mary of the woods
    May 26, 2014 7:12 AM
    God of heaven and earth.....heal this broken world.....

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora