Pope Francis travels to Egypt on Friday to build bridges with moderate Islam
Pope Francis' trip to Egypt is undoubtedly one of the most delicate of his pontificate. He will be there for just over 24 hours, arriving on Friday, April 28. The visit comes just two weeks after the two attacks on Coptic churches that left 25 people dead.
The journey is aimed at building bridges with the Islamic world. He was invited by this Imam, the rector of Al Azhar, to speak at the Islamic university responsible for preparing most Sunni imams.
FR. SAMIR KHALIL SAMIR
"It is good to see that the one who represents the majority of Christians is a peaceful, serene, fraternal man ... who reflects the image of Christianity. In fact, if he speaks to everyone the same way, they say 'He is a man who respects us.' And it's this that he searches to do: to give a word that is heard, because his person is respected.”
Pope Francis will deliver four important speeches. Two will be addressed to the Muslim world, one to Copts, and another to Catholics.
It will also be a trip to promote dialogue among Christians, because he will be accompanied by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew.
In this country of 89 million inhabitants, only 0.31 percent of the population is Catholic, or about 272,000 people. In addition, 10 percent of Egyptians are Coptic Christians, descendants of the Egyptians who converted to Christianity in the year 42 AD.