By News room
Pope Francis is already in the Egyptian capital Cairo on a two day visit aimed at improving Christian-Muslim dialogue, three weeks after bombings at two Coptic churches that killed 45 people that was claimed by So-called Islamic State (IS) on Palm Sunday.
According to the BBC, As the Pope arrived in Cairo he said his trip would be a “journey of unity and fraternity.
He will meet the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Sisi, Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II and Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb, the grand imam of Al Azhar mosque the Grand Imam of the 1,000-year-old seat of Islamic learning where He is expected to address a conference there on religious dialogue, as part of efforts to improve their relations.
Pope Francis plans to encourage dialogue with Muslim leaders and to show solidarity with Christians across the Middle East at a time of great division and violence.
In December, a suicide bomber detonated explosives at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, also known as Botroseya church, a chapel next to Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, killing 29 people.
President Sisi said the Pope’s visit is a significant and will strengthen peace, tolerance and interfaith dialogue as well as to reject the abhorrent acts of terrorism and extremism.
The 80-year-old pontiff said before the visit that he was travelling as a “messenger of peace” and, as usual, would not use an armoured car.
The two-day visit is the first papal trip to Cairo in 20 years and comes as Egypt’s Coptic Christians – who make up 10% of the country’s mainly Muslim population – face increased threats. The majority of the Copts are Orthodox, with less than 150,000 of them Catholic.
Just as he got on the deck from Vatican in a video posted Pope Francis sounded excited about his two day visit to Egypt saying, “Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land, needs peace, love and mercy.”
In November from 25th to 30th Pope Francis was in East and Central Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania where he challenged leaders to pray, help those in need and fight the challenge of memory loss.