Pope Francis appealed for interreligious harmony at the birthplace of Abraham
Today, on the 6th of March, Pope Francis appealed for harmony among the followers of the world’s major monotheistic religions at an interreligious meeting in the Plain of Ur, southern Iraq.
Speaking at the ancient site, believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, the Pope emphasised the shared heritage of Christians, Muslims and Jews, Catholic News Agency reports.
“From this place, where faith was born, from the land of our father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters,” he said.
“Hostility, extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart: they are betrayals of religion. We believers cannot be silent when terrorism abuses religion; indeed, we are called unambiguously to dispel all misunderstandings.”
The Bible names Abraham’s birthplace as Ur Kaśdim (translated as Ur of the Chaldeans), leading scholars to identify the southern Iraqi city as the location of his birth.
“This blessed place brings us back to our origins, to the sources of God’s work, to the birth of our religions. Here, where Abraham our father lived, we seem to have returned home,” the Pope said, seated in a white chair on a windswept stage at the gathering poetically billed as a “Historic meeting between minarets and bell towers.”
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Photo credit: Colm Flynn/CNA