Pope Francis arrives at the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui.
The Holy Father risked his life to go out to the peripheries.
I was really concerned for the Holy Father's safety while visiting Central African Republic. I'm so happy he was willing to go, despite warnings. God is with him. Prayers in thanksgiving.
After removing his shoes on entering the Koudoukou mosque and bowing towards the holy Muslim city of Mecca, the pope told several hundred men inside that “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters”.
“Together, we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself. God is peace. Salaam,” he added, using the Arabic word for peace.
Francis said his visit to CAR “would not be complete if it did not include this encounter with the Muslim community”.
The chief imam at the mosque, Tidiani Moussa Naibi, thanked Francis for his visit, which he said was “a symbol which we all understand”.
Some Muslims are living in the mosque after being forced out of their homes by the violence. “We are very proud to welcome him. The pope is not only for the Christians, he is a servant of God for all Central Africans,” said Ibrahim Paulin, a spokesman for the displaced. - Guardian
I noticed this amazing comment on Fr. Martin's Facebook page:
Saadia Ahmad As a Muslim engaged in and studying interfaith dialogue and outreach and within the post-9/11 context, it can get exhausting feeling as though we're doing so much outreach and not getting much effort back (partially to get our religion back from those who use it to justify and motivate their violent actions), and often encounter hostility and anger instead. It's so heartening to see our Pope be active in playing the role we all need to for interfaith dialog and reconciliation. Subhan'Allah (Arabic phrase meaning "thanks be to God") for him and the blessings, reminders, and gifts he brings all of God's children, regardless of faith or creed.