Despite some security concerns, Pope Francis is going ahead with his planned two-day trip to Egypt meant to show a united Christian-Muslim partnership.
Just three weeks ago Islamic soldiers attacked twin Palm Sunday churches. Francis, however, will be meeting with Egypt's religious and political leaders in Cairo during the visit, according to CBN News.
He is also scheduled to meet with Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church to pray for victims of the attacks.
The highlight of his trip, however, will be a visit to Al-Azhar, the 1,000-year-old seat of learning in Sunni Islam. He is scheduled to meet with grand imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb and participate in an international peace conference.
"The fundamental issue is education, and educating those of different religious beliefs and especially the young, to have great respect for those of other faiths," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin. "The question of language is fundamental: when you use a violent language, there is the danger that it can result in violent acts."
Francis will also meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, and then visit the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
His trip ends with an an ecumenical prayer service in St. Peter's church, the Coptic cathedral where Islamic State soldiers killed 30 people by suicide bomb.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: April 28, 2017