One of Pope Francis’ intentions of going to Egypt is to be a “messenger of peace” as he meets with Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar. The last time a Pope visited al-Azhar was Pope John Paul II in 2000. However, this is the second time the two leaders have met following el-Tayeb’s visit to the Vatican last May.
During the Pope’s trip, his safety is of the utmost concern. However, this meeting is incredibly significant in the Pope’s plan to continue to embody and call attention to respecting other peoples’ identities and religious formations which remains a major concern for both Christians and Muslims in Egypt. It takes “courage to accept differences” and it is through dialogue and meetings such as this that one can understand thy neighbor.
Pope Francis’ trip encapsulates the mission of recognizing others’ dignity while spreading the good word.
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