“Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis


Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:7-9)

Pope ends Africa trip with mosque visit in besieged enclave

Reuters International


By Joe Bavier and Philip Pullella

BANGUI (Reuters) – Pope Francis ventured into one of the world’s most dangerous neighbourhoods on Monday to beg Christians and Muslims to end a spiral of hate, vendetta and bloodshed that has killed thousands over the past three years.

Under intense security, Francis passed through a no-man’s zone to enter PK5, a district where most Muslims who have not fled the capital of the Central African Republic have now sought refuge.

The neighbourhood has been cut off from the rest of the capital Bangui for the past two months by a ring of so-called anti-balaka Christian militias, who block supplies from entering and Muslims from leaving.

A heavy deployment of United Nations peacekeepers with rifles and bullet-proof vests was present throughout PK5 and armoured vehicles mounted with machineguns were positioned along the route of Pope Francis’ motorcade.

U.N. sharpshooters looked out from the tops of the minarets crowning the freshly repainted green and white mosque, where hundreds of PK5’s Muslims listened as Francis made an impassioned appeal for an end to the violence.

Image (1) coexist.jpg for post 165702

“Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” he said after a speech by Imam Tidiani Moussa Naibi, one of the local religious leaders trying to foster dialogue.

“Those who claim to believe in God must also be men and women of peace,” he said, noting that Christians, Muslims and followers of traditional religions had lived together in peace for many years.

He appealed for “an end to every act which, from whatever side, disfigures the face of God and whose ultimate aim is to defend particular interests by any and all means.”

Central African Republic descended into chaos in early 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in the majority Christian country, sparking reprisals from Christian militias. Leaders from both sides say the hate has been manipulated for political gain.

Healing rifts between Christian and Muslim communities has been a theme throughout Francis’ first visit to the continent, which has also taken him to Kenya and Uganda.

However, nowhere is his call for peace and reconciliation more pressing than in Central African Republic, where thousands have died and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in clashes that have split the country along religious lines.

“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, ‘salam,'” the pope said, using the Arabic word for peace.

Unprecedented security measures have been laid on for the pontiff’s two-day visit to the former French colony, which took place amid a surge in violence.

Tit-for-tat killings in and around the tiny PK5 enclave have claimed at least 100 lives since late September, according to Human Rights Watch.

Imam Naibi has called PK5 “an open-air prison”, but on Monday he struck a optimistic tone.

“The relationship between our Christian brothers and sisters and ourselves is so deep that no manoeuvre seeking to undermine it will succeed,” he told the pope.

“The Christians and Muslims of this country are obliged to live together and love each other.”

Both the Christian majority and the minority Muslims have welcomed the pope’s visit, hoping he can spur renewed dialogue and help restore peace. Thousands of PK5’s Muslims lined the road into the enclave to get a glimpse of the pontiff.

Central African Republic’s United Nations peacekeeping mission brought in additional forces and has deployed over 3,000 soldiers in an attempt to secure the city during the pope’s visit. The government is also contributing around 500 police and gendarmes. French troops based in Bangui are also on alert.

Pope Francis ends his Africa tour with a Mass for tens of thousands of Catholics at the country’s national stadium before returning to Rome.

(Editing by Tom Heneghan)



4 replies

  1. Dear Pope Francis

    Can we build a mosque in the Vatican city and there should be churches in Mecca and Medina as well.

    Let us truly coexist.

    Salam and peace!

  2. BBC: Pope Francis: ‘Christians and Muslims are brothers’

    Pope Francis has told worshippers in a mosque in the Central African Republic that “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters”.
    He was speaking to Muslims who had sought shelter in the capital Bangui after nearly three years of violence between Christians and Muslims.
    The mosque visit was seen as perhaps the most difficult part of his Africa tour, a BBC correspondent says
    Pope Francis then held the final Mass of his Africa trip in Bangui.
    More than 100,000 Muslims left the capital as a result of the fighting but 15,000 are left in an area called PK5, according to the campaign group Human Rights Watch.


  3. If a mosque is to be built in the Vatican City, then it will mean building churches next to the kaaba and the great mosque in Medina, not just in the cities or elsewhere in Saudi Arabia. Fantasies are made of these.

  4. Prophet Jesus: Love your neighbor as you love your self.
    Prophet Muhammad : You do not love God if you do not love your neighbor yet.

    Based on both prophets I strongly urge all Muslim, Christian, Jews, and Hindu should follow what our prophets command us to do.

    Every religion can build his Holy place to worship God side by side, without exception.

    Therefore all religion can live in peace, harmony and prosperity. we are all brother and sister. we have to love each other regardless religion, race and gender.

    God want His people live in peace, and happiness.

    One thing I agree with Dr Zakir Naik said that Islam is those who believe in Creator, they are Islam or Muslim.

    Islam was exist since Prophet Adam. All Allah prophets were Islam, and all His books such as Taurat, Zabur,Injil and Al quran are Islamic teaching from Creator or Allah.

    Prophet Muhammad pbuh was the last Prophet, al Quran is the last Book of Allah.

    And remember that Ibrahim was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: he said: “I will make thee an Imam to the Nations.” He pleaded: “And also (Imams) from my offspring!” He answered: “But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers.”QS 2;124

    And this was the Legacy that Ibrahim left to his sons, and so did Ya’qub; “O my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the state of submission (to Allah).QS 2;132

    Verily, this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other). QS 21;92

    Struggle for (seeking the pleasure of) Allah, a struggle that is owed to Him. He has chosen you and did not impose any hardship on you in the religion, the faith of your father Ibrahim. He (Allah) named you as Muslims earlier and also in this (Qur’an), so that the Messenger becomes a witness to you, and you become witnesses to (other) people. 16 So establish Salah, pay Zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your patron or protector . So, how excellent He is as a patron, and how excellent as a supporter! QS 22;78

    Those who believe (in the Qur-an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians – any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness – on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve QS 5;69

    To every People have We appointed rites and ceremonies which they must follow, let them not then dispute with thee on the matter, but do thou invite (them) to thy Lord: for thou art assuredly on the Right Way.
    QS 22:67 ( It means that every religious group has ther own way to worship God ).

    Let us spread love to others instead of hatred to others.
    We are all human being.

    With all my love

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