Pope, in Bahrain, condemns rearmament pushing world to ‘precipice’

AWALI, Bahrain, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Pope Francis called on religious leaders on Friday to help bring the world back from “the brink of a precipice” and into a new race for reconstruction, which he said is the renewal of post-war industries. It’s cool to oppose. influence.

Francis is on his first full day in Bahrain as he closes an East-West dialogue forum promoted by the Gulf nation’s king in which Christians will be allowed to practice their faith publicly in churches.

The visit continues the pope’s policy of improving relations with the Islamic world, following a historic visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. Since his election in 2013, he has visited around 10 predominantly Muslim countries.

Francis, who suffers from a knee condition that forces him to use a wheelchair and cane, weaved his speech around the role of religions in promoting peace, disarmament and social justice.

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“After two terrible world wars, a cold war that has kept the world in limbo for decades, catastrophic conflicts in all corners of the globe, and amid accusations, threats and condemnations, we find ourselves on the brink of war. A fine fine and we fall We don’t want it,” he said in the shining marble courtyard of the royal palace.

Perhaps referring to Ukraine, Francis condemned the situation in which “a few powerful people are caught up in a desperate struggle for partisan interests, reviving old rhetoric, redrawing spheres of influence and opposing blocs.”

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RELIGIONS CANNOT BE PURE FROM WAR

Francis, who advocates a total ban on nuclear weapons and often condemns the global arms trade, said religious leaders cannot support wars – referring to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who strongly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and who is Pope directly criticized before.

King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, speaking before the pope, called for unanimity in ending the war between Russia and Ukraine and “a serious dialogue for the benefit of all humanity.”

The Pope echoed this call and the third speaker, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque and University of Egypt, who signed the “Brotherhood of Man” document in 2019, affirmed an important manifesto on the role of religions in the search for peace. did .

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Francis also condemned the financing of terrorism, without naming any countries.

On Friday afternoon, he was due to address the Bahraini Council of Muslim Elders and then preside over a service at the Church of the Mother of Arabia, one of two churches serving Bahrain’s small Catholic community of about 160,000.

On Thursday, Francis spoke out against the death penalty in Bahrain, where Shia Muslim opponents accuse the Sunni monarchy of overseeing human rights abuses and families of death row inmates have sought help from the pontiff.

Reporting by Philip Pullela; edited by John Stonestreet

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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