Pope Francis cries end to Syrian war

Pope Francis cries end to Syrian war

During his first stop in Jordan, Francis also urged greater religious rights for minority Christians across the region, thanking King Abdullah for encouraging a “climate of serene coexistence” between Christians and Muslims.



By (AP)

Published: Sat 24 May 2014, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:33 AM

Pope Francis being received by King Abdullah at the Royal Palace in Amman on Saturday. — AFP

Pope Francis being received by King Abdullah at the Royal Palace in Amman on Saturday. — AFP

Pope Francis called on Saturday for an “urgent” end to the Syrian war and lamented the refugee crisis it has spawned as he opened a three-day trip to the Middle East.

During his first stop in Jordan, Francis also urged greater religious rights for minority Christians across the region, thanking King Abdullah for encouraging a “climate of serene coexistence” between Christians and Muslims.

“Religious freedom is in fact a fundamental human right and I cannot fail to express my hope that it will be upheld throughout the Middle East and the entire world,” he said in an opening speech to Abdullah and Jordan’s religious and political leaders.

Francis said Jordan’s “generous welcome” to Syrian refugees warranted international appreciation and support. Jordan last month opened a third refugee camp for Syrians who fled the civil war at home, evidence of the strains the conflict is creating for the country. Jordan is currently hosting 600,000 registered Syrian refugees, or 10 per cent of its population, but Jordanian officials estimate the real number is closer to 1.3 million.


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