Pope Francis urges religious tolerance on rare Turkey visit

Pope Francis, surrounded by security and officials, visits the mausoleum of the Turkish republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Ankara Friday, Nov. 28, 2014.

Pope Francis, surrounded by security and officials, visits the mausoleum of the Turkish republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in Ankara Friday, Nov. 28, 2014.

By Laura Smith-Spark and Arwa Damon, CNN

Ankara, Turkey (CNN) — Pope Francis called Friday for religious tolerance and dialogue to counter extremism in the Middle East as he met with Turkey’s leaders on the first day of a rare papal visit to the predominantly Muslim country.

Speaking in Ankara alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Pope called on people of all faiths to show respect for human life, dignity and religious freedom.

“Fanaticism and fundamentalism, as well as irrational fears which foster misunderstanding and discrimination, need to be countered by the solidarity of all believers,” he said.

Terrorist violence shows no sign of abating in Iraq and Syria, with grave persecution against Christians and the Yazidi minority in particular, Francis said.

“Hundreds of thousands of persons have been forced to abandon their homes and countries in order to survive and remain faithful to their religious beliefs,” he said.

“Turkey, which has generously welcomed a great number of refugees, is directly affected by this tragic situation on its borders; the international community has the moral obligation to assist Turkey in taking care of these refugees.”

Read further and watch a video

Additional Reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

How Islam Taught Medieval Christian Europe Religious and Political Tolerance

Categories: Europe and Australia, interfaith, Syria, Turkey

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1 reply

  1. Jorge Bergoglio ( “Pope Francis”) is promoting interfaith relations, which confesses the freedom and equality of all ‘religions’, as a path for peace.

    He believes that it is right to sacrifice the One Truth in the name of man’s freedom.

    He is promoting this “interfaith way” as a means to counteract fanaticism and fundamentalism which he claims create conflict within (which fratricide) societies.
    …but this “interfaith way” fanatically and fundamentally claims, in the name of freedom, that the way to peace is to accept that it is right for each to worship “his” god / “his” truth.
    And…
    …this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally denies the ‘absolute’ claim by Jesus Christ that He is Son of the One and Only Creator.
    …this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally denies the claim and truth by the One Creator that He is the One and Only God, that He is the ‘I AM’.
    …this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally denies that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Only Way, the One Sacrifice and Salvation, to the One God

    …and this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally embraces the belief ,which satan confessed, that it is right to be free to take of the forbidden tree of knowing ( defining and justifying) “good and evil” in one’s own eyes….claiming that “surely you will not die, for you will be ‘like god’.

    BUT the Lord Jesus Christ said to satan that we are to worship ONLY the One Lord your Creator God ( for there is no other) and Him Alone to serve in obedience and love, love for Him First and Foremost and love for, to do good to, the fellowman.
    ….perhaps Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”), President Obama, and other leaders would say that Jesus Christ , the Son of the One God, is a fanatic, a fundamentalist, an extremist.

    He was killed for this….but He was also resurrected for this …and He will very soon return as the One King to rule and judge the earth in power according to the Will of the One Creator and NOT according to man’s first love for “his fanatic freedom / his extremist religious freedom”…for his fundamental desire to serve and magnify oneself (XES).

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