Muslims, Christians are ‘brothers’, Pope Francis says at a Central African Republic mosque

Pope Francis begged Christians and Muslims during a visit to a mosque to end a spiral of hate, vendetta and bloodshed that has killed thousands over the past three years.
Pope Francis begged Christians and Muslims during a visit to a mosque to end a spiral of hate, vendetta and bloodshed that has killed thousands over the past three years.

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.

“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.

Unprecedented security

“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.

FRANCE 24/ REUTERS

  • 5thDrawer

    All the Platitudes on all sides are being said …. but do the uneducated ‘Boko Dorkos’ understand any of the languages??

    • O

      Do your beloved klu klux klan understand? Senile white supremacist widower.

      • Hannibal

        Sleep with me… I promise to paint you with white stuff.

        • 5thDrawer

          Man .. You whited her out ! ;-)))

  • Patience2

    Cain and Abel, to, were brothers.

    • O

      Incest is common in moronites

  • DaveTheRave

    Jews, Muslims, Christians – all adherents of El Avraham, illa Ibrahim, the God of Abraham.

    One day the voice in old Avi’s, Ibbi’s, Abe’s head says ‘I wan’t you to take your beloved son (Isaac, Ishmael – the jury’s still out on this one) up that big hill and slit his throat!’

    ‘Yeah sure boss, you know best’

    Just as the blade’s about to cut the kid’s neck the voice says ‘ Nah you fool, I was taking the piss ay, go torture that sheep instead’

    Statistically (we know what that means) half the planet is supposed to be devoted to this voice that was in old Avi’s, Ibbi’s, Abe’s head.

    Personally I like the new god, the one called internet. It may be full of lies and hypocrisy but the old one was psychotic.

    • Hannibal

      The thief (Satan embodied in the old book) comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I’ve come that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Jesus

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hydv2Jgz1A

      • Hind Abyad

        Pharisee supremacists Talmud:
        These had not yet been written down in Jesus’ time..those who taught it (Scribes and Pharisees), because the Talmud nullifies the teachings of the Holy Bible.

        “The best of the gentiles: kill him; the best of snakes: smash its skull; the best of women: is filled with witchcraft.” Kiddushin 66c The uncensored version of this text appears in Tractate Soferim (New York, M. Higer, 1937), 15:7, p. 282. “The best of the gentiles should all be killed” (http://talmudical.blogspot.com). From the original Hebrew of the Babylonian Talmud as quoted by the 1907 Jewish Encyclopedia published by Funk and Wagnalls and compiled by Isidore Singer, under the entry, ‘Gentile,’ (p. 617).

        The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews (Ma’ariv 09.11.09 (p. 2) by Roi Sharon)
        http://www.nrg.co.il. Here is a full translation of the article in the Maariv newspaper of Israel didiremez.wordpress.com

        • O

          But NO it doesn’t hate Jews.
          Lmfao. Anti Semitic hag

          • Hind Abyad

            Middlle East Christians are Semitic, Odiot.

          • O

            Anti Semitic son of a whore. When was your sex change?

        • Hind Abyad

          The Ancient Testament is Moslem Bible.. Anti-Semitic Hagar..Idiot

          • O

            Lol the only thing old here is YOU. DECREPIT s l a g

      • Hannibal

        It’s ok… As I said before I am not like the da3esh idiots whom you worship therefore I won’t defend Christ for He said: “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven–except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.”

        Watch your breasts grow with cancer… too bad I wanted to feel them. 😛

        • Hannibal

          I am not wishing anything on you nor praying that any harm begets you. You will be judged according to your deeds and words and they are plenty blasphemous NOT my doing.
          Can I feel them before you have to chop them off? Pretty please?

          • O

            Only if I can feel your prostate….. With my fist.

          • O

            Lol yeh right. That’s why you barked I need to be killed. Typical lying moronite.

        • Hannibal

          Your AT&T reception is not good but you always have your phone charged 100% you probably never run out of juice.

          • O

            I sure don’t run out of “juice”!
            Hence why I don’t need you.

          • O

            How about my reception now?

          • O

            Or now?

        • Hind Abyad

          You want to see your threats and death wishes?

          • O

            Let me guess! You will quote yourself as the fake barabie. Impersonating s l a g. Kess emak should’ve been sledgehammered.

          • O

            I want to see that pic of you holding 4 fingers up to your face. Lying deceptive s l a g

          • O

            Trust me I’m going to f u c k up

    • 5thDrawer

      Should get ‘Rave Reviews’ for that one. :-)))

      • Hind Abyad

        ‘New York Times’ uncorks laughable Israeli propaganda’
        “Israel Aims to Recreate Wine That Jesus and King David Drank”

        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/laughable-israeli-propaganda?

        • 5thDrawer

          Hohohoho .. if it’s anything like ‘Mogan David’ or some of the watered-down church wines we’ve sampled, I doubt there will be a rush for it …. won’t be in my small cellar for sure.

          • Hind Abyad

            Netanyahu plans to ‘punish’ the Europeans over settlement labeling http://almon.co/2k13 via @AlMonitor