Pope visits Mosque in besieged Muslim enclave in Central African Republic
Dec 03, 2015 Pope Francis recently preached reconciliation during his visit to Central African Republic.
Preaching at the Bangui’s cathedral, which was the scene of an attack last year, the pontiff called on his listeners to embrace their countrymen as brothers.
“To all those who make unjust use of the weapons of this world, I make this appeal: lay down these instruments of death… Arm yourselves instead with righteousness, with love and mercy, the authentic guarantors of peace.”
According to Human Rights Watch, the former French colony has seen a surge in clashes that have left at least 100 people dead since late September.
France, which currently has about 900 soldiers deployed in the country, had warned the Vatican the pope’s visit could be risky, however he was determined to go notwithstanding.
During his visit, Pope Francis visited a camp for internally displaced persons.
Commenting on his visit, Christian Londoumon, one of the camp’s resident said the pontiff’s visit brought a sense of relief.
“I’m thankful for the love that the pope brings us, but also for the peace. We’re very happy about his visit,”
The pontiff also led a prayer service at the presidential palace, during which he said:
“This, we know, is a cardinal value for the harmony of peoples,” he said slowly, in French. “It is to be lived and built up on the basis of the marvellous diversity of our environment, avoiding the temptation of fear of others, of the unfamiliar, of what is not part of our ethnic group, our political views or our religious confession.”
Furthermore, Pope Francis didn’t leave out the Muslim population as he visited a mosque in a besieged Muslim enclave in Central African Republic’s capital.
Both the Christian majority and minority Muslims have welcomed the pope’s visit with the hope that it could help restore peace.
Commenting on the pope’s visit to the mosque, Ousmane Ngom, a Muslim living in the PK5 area said:
“We are very happy the pope has come here because people say the PK5 is an area full of criminals, an area where anything happens but in fact there is no danger here. Really I am very happy about his arrival,”