Pope Opens Mideast Trip Lamenting Syrian Conflict
Pope Francis called on Saturday for an “urgent” end to the Syrian civil war and 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 Christian-Muslim coexistence across the region, thanking King Abdullah II for encouraging a “climate of serene coexistence” among people of different faiths. In an opening speech to Abdullah and Jordan’s religious and political leaders he said, “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.”
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