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November 28, 2014 1:52 pm

In Turkey, Pope Francis Calls for Interfaith Dialogue to Protect Mideast Christians

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Pope Francis delivering his Christmas address. Photo: Screenshot.

JNS.org – In his first visit to the Middle East since Israel last spring, Pope Francis called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to engage in interfaith dialogue in order to protect Middle East Christians and other persecuted minority groups.

“It is essential that all citizens – Muslim, Jewish and Christian – both in the provision and practice of the law, enjoy the same rights and respect the same duties,” Francis told Erdogan, Vatican Radioreported.

“Mr. President, interreligious and intercultural dialogue can make an important contribution to attaining this lofty and urgent goal, so that there will be an end to all forms of fundamentalism and terrorism which gravely demean the dignity of every man and woman and exploit religion,” Francis said.

Under the leadership of Erdogan and his AKP party, the role of Islam in Turkey has increased. This has been met with some backlash from minority and secular groups in Turkey, who have accused Erdogan of authoritarianism.

At the same time, Turkey has also played a reluctant role in the U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State, refusing to directly attack the jihadist terror group and preferring to work on toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad instead. The Islamic State has been accused of engaging in genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities in Syria and Iraq.

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  • John Stefanyszyn

    Jorge Bergoglio ( “Pope Francis”) is promoting interfaith relations, which confesses the freedom and equality of all ‘religions’, as a path for peace.

    He believes that it is right to sacrifice the One Truth in the name of man’s freedom.

    He is promoting this “interfaith way” as a means to counteract fanaticism and fundamentalism which he claims create conflict within (which fratricide) societies.
    …but this “interfaith way” fanatically and fundamentally claims, in the name of freedom, that the way to peace is to accept that it is right for each to worship “his” god / “his” truth.
    …this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally denies the ‘absolute’ claim by Jesus Christ that He is Son of the One and Only Creator.
    …this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally denies the claim and truth by the One Creator that He is the One and Only God, that He is the ‘I AM’.
    …this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally denies that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Only Way, the One Sacrifice and Salvation, to the One God

    …and this “interfaith / freedom way” fanatically and fundamentally embraces the belief ,which satan confessed, that it is right to be free to take of the forbidden tree of knowing ( defining and justifying) “good and evil” in one’s own eyes….claiming that “surely you will not die, for you will be ‘like god’.

    BUT the Lord Jesus Christ said to satan that we are to worship ONLY the One Lord your Creator God ( for there is no other) and Him Alone to serve in obedience and love, love for Him First and Foremost and love for, to do good to, the fellowman.
    ….perhaps Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”), President Obama, and other leaders would say that Jesus Christ , the Son of the One God, is a fanatic, a fundamentalist, an extremist.

    He was killed for this….but He was also resurrected for this …and He will very soon return as the One King to rule and judge the earth in power according to the Will of the One Creator and NOT according to man’s first love for “his fanatic freedom / his extremist religious freedom”…for his fundamental desire to serve and magnify oneself (XES).

  • Jonah

    Accused? That’s an understatement. Political correctness will get you nowhere with Islamic caliphate minded jihadists. Might I suggest you arm all your catholic dioses, arm every catholic on this planet and declare war on Islam. Before it is to late. Regardless of how you frame your discussions they are at war with you. Are they burning down catholic church’s? You get nowhere with these henchmen by turning the other cheek, but dead. I would suggest doing to them what they do to you. Be a real leader of the Roman Empire and protect your civilization, while you still have a civilization to protect.