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Pope Francis will pray in Assisi for peace with representatives of nine religions

From September 17-20 the spirit of Assisi will return to the city where it was born. Thirty years after the historic meeting that brought together more than 120 leaders from different religions, including John Paul II. This time around the initiative will be repeated with presence of Pope Francis. Then, as it is now, peace is more necessary than ever. MSGR. DOMENICO SORRENTINO   Bishop of Assisi, Italy "Thirty years ago the world was in a Cold War, a peace was defended by opposing nuclear arsenals. Today, we find what Pope Francis realistically defined as Third World War in parts.  It is hard to understand where our world is going.â? Pope Francis will participate in the interfaith meeting of prayer for peace on September 20. Among other leaders, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will also be in attendance. More than 500 representatives from 9 different religions gathered in Assisi will be given with one goal. FR. ENZO FORTUNATO Sacred Convent of Assisi "We can call it a spiritual event in all levels because every faith brings the heart of their spirituality to Assisi.â? Even atheists have been invited to join in the  spirit of Assisi along with politicians, religious leaders and representatives of the world of culture. Twenty-five refugees will also be present. This unique encounter aims at sending a message: Religion cannot be used as an excuse for violence. MARCO IMPAGLIAZZO President, Community of Sant'Egidio "The spirit of Assisi has been a place where religious leaders of the world have been able to explain why religion is not related to violence. The spirit of Assisi has been the framework that has been able to justify this separation.â? The list of participants that will attend this event is anything but lackluster. Prominent voices like the Tunisia quartet, who won the Nobel Peace Prize 2015; a representative of the Islamic University of Al-Azar in Egypt; Italian President Sergio Mattarella, several religious leaders from Syria, two rabbis and Holocaust survivors. AC/YA AA - -PR up:ag