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Rome Reports

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Pope encourages muslims to cultivate potential of human reason

"We cannot fail to be concerned that today, with increasing insistency, some maintain that religion fails in its claim to be, by nature, a builder of unity and harmony, an expression of communion between persons and with God. (...)The contradiction of tensions and divisions between the followers of different religious traditions, sadly, cannot be denied. However, is it not also the case that often it is the ideological manipulation of religion, sometimes for political ends, that is the real catalyst for tension and division, and at times even violence in society? (...)We are reminded that because it is our common human dignity which gives rise to universal human rights, they hold equally for every man and woman, irrespective of his or her religious, social or ethnic group. In this regard, we must note that the right of religious freedom extends beyond the question of worship and includes the right – especially of minorities – to fair access to the employment market and other spheres of civic life. (...)Before I leave you this morning I would like to acknowledge in a special way the presence among us of His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Baghdad, whom I greet most warmly. His presence brings to mind the people of neighbouring Iraq many of whom have found welcome refuge here in Jordan. (...) I urge diplomats and the international community they represent together with local political and religious leaders to do everything possible to ensure the ancient Christian community of that noble land its fundamental right to peaceful coexistence with their fellow citizens. "