Pope Francis Visits Morocco
Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, recently visited Morocco on his latest trip to a predominantly Muslim state. He was welcomed to Morocco by King Mohammed VI. He met migrants and Muslim leaders, and held a Mass for the country’s small Roman Catholic community.Pope Francis called for tolerance and peace at a mass for thousands of Catholics, after warning the faithful there against trying to convert others.
“Often we are tempted to believe that hatred and revenge are legitimate ways of ensuring quick and effective justice,” the 82-year-old pontiff told those gathered. “Yet experience tells us that hatred, division and revenge succeed only in killing our peoples’ soul, poisoning our children’s hopes, and destroying and sweeping away everything we cherish.”Ahead of the mass the pope insisted to an audience of around 400 at Rabat’s cathedral that trying to convert people to one’s own belief “always leads to an impasse”.”Please, no proselytism!” he said.Christians are a tiny minority in Morocco where 99 percent of the population is Muslim, with sub-Saharan Africans making up a large part of the country’s 30,000-strong Catholic community. Islam is the state religion and authorities are keen to stress the country’s religious tolerance, which allows Christians and Jews to worship freely.