Pope Francis met a senior Muslim cleric on Monday, the top religious leaders’ joint call for freedom of belief has marked a new era of the interconfessional relationships. On the last day of his official three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis gave a speech during the scaled mass.
The Head of the Catholic Church arrived at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in an automobile, greeting exuberant crowds, the believers have gathered for the first time for the mass – the atmosphere was filled with cheer and good spirit.
Pope Francis’s modest setting is a rare occurrence for Holy Mass, which usually contains a large number of religious symbols at the Altar. Introductory Rites began as part of the Holy Mass Order, with worshipers partaking in prayer and hymns, along with readings from the Gospel by Church clergy.
On Monday, two religious leaders signed a document on “human fraternity for world peace and living together”, which the Vatican described an “important step forward in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims”.
Both heads of the Catholic and Muslim churches urged to “freedom of belief”, the “promotion of a culture of tolerance”, the “protection of places of worship” and “full citizenship” rights for minorities.
“It is… crucial to establish in our societies the concept of full citizenship and reject the discriminatory use of the term minorities which engenders feelings of isolation and inferiority,” the statement reads.
The text of statement reiterated that freedom was the right of every person, that’s why each and every person in the world should enjoy the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action.”
“The fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept,” the document said.