During a Mass with Egypt’s Catholic leader, Pope Francis prayed for the safety and religious liberty of Middle East Christians.

“Let real guarantees of religious liberty be given to all, together with the rights of Christians to live peacefully in the places where they were born, in the native country they love as citizens of more than 2,000 years, in order that they might contribute as always to the good of all,” Pope Francis said during Mass on Monday with Egypt’s Coptic Catholic leader Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, the Catholic News Service reported.

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Since the 2011 revolution that removed former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s Christian population has faced numerous attacks, including on its holiest church, St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo in April 2013. Anti-Christian violence then intensified following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, after Islamists blamed Christians for their involvement. In mid-August, several dozen Christian homes, businesses, and churches were burned. Egyptian Christians have also faced a recent rise in kidnappings.

During the Mass, Pope Francis prayed for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians amid their ongoing U.S.-brokered negotiations.

“Let us pray with confidence that in the Holy Land and all the Middle East peace might be able to rise from the often recurring and sometimes dramatic breaks in the peace process,” the pontiff said.

Pope Francis, who recently met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time, is expected to visit Israel in May 2014.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe this guy needs to study a little history. Christians have been in the Middle East a long time, and that history was a violent and bloody one of persecution against others and falsehood. In Islam the tables were turned and actually Christians are reaping what they themselves have sown from the days of its dominance until today. What right do they have to live in peace? Let them go to Rome.

  2. Can’t blame a group of people for the sins (or the good) of their Fathers. Isn’t that what Xtians did to Jews? It was wrong. It still is, regardless of who does it to whom. Islam was once good to the Jewish people and look at their actions now.

  3. shemaya shiloh I agree, we dont believe roman catholics are christians, too many household gods, and we believe the roman catholic church is just the roman empire now under the guise of christianity with popes at the head instead of Ceasars. real christians do not recognize the pope as their leader, but look to Christ our Lord and
    Redeemer.

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