Cairo, Egypt. Pope Francis on a visit to Christian leaders in Egypt, called upon Islamic religous clerics to renounce violence today.He delivered his speech at Al-Azhar University, a 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni scholarship in the Egyptian capital.
Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to renounce “violence and vengeance” carried out in the name of religion on Friday, during a visit to Egypt that comes amid a bloody campaign by terrorists from ISIS to purge the country of Christians.
“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,” the Pope said in an address at a peace conference.
Religious clerics of all faiths must “counter effectively the barbarity of those who foment hatred and violence” and “respond to the incendiary logic of evil,” the Pope pleaded.
ISIS claimed responsibility for suicide bomber attacks on two Coptic churches in Cairo on Palm Sunday which killed 29 people and injured dozens of others. Later he went to St Peter’s Church in central Cairo, which was hit by a suicide bombing in December that killed 60 people, and prayed for the victims.
The Latin American pontiff, who has made dialogue with Islam one of the themes of his four-year papacy, will celebrate an open-air Mass in a military arena on Saturday. His calls for Islamists to renounce violence are viewed as dangerous, with many worried the Pope is setting himself up as a target by speaking out against ISIS terrorist violence.