Anti-Christian persecution in the Middle East is a major concern, said Pope Francis in Angelus before leaving for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he remained, something Chaldean Patriarch Card Louis Raphael Sako stressed as he spoke about the first papal visit to a Gulf State.
With persecution in Iraq, Syria and Yemen in his mind, the Pope will try to turn a page in ChristianMuslim relations in order to renew the journey of peace.
The 70-year-old cardinal, originally from Zakho in northern Iraq, plays a leading role in interfaith dialogue in his country.
“Pope Francis is saying that this is enough. Let us live in peace, love, tolerance and renounce violence and hatred,” Card Sako noted, adding that in the UAE, the Pope promoted Christian-Muslim outreach, trying to oppose any fanatical, violent or hateful discourse.
According to the prelate, the pontiff will raise awareness among the believers of various religions of the situation of Christians in the region and will refer to the values found in various sacred texts and scriptures, which call for human coexistence.