Pope Sends Message of Respect for Muslims
In a demonstration of what the Vatican spokesman called Pope Francis’ “particular attention to relations with the Muslim world,” the pope personally signed the Holy See message for Muslims at the end of Ramadan, calling for “mutual respect through education” between Christianity and Islam.
“We are called to respect the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values,” Francis wrote in a statement distributed by the Holy See.
“We have to bring up our young people to think and speak respectfully of other religions and their followers,” said the message, which stressed the enhanced role that education must play in building respect for different religions and the need “to avoid ridiculing or denigrating their convictions and practices.”
“As an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims,” Francis decided to personally sign his good wishes to Muslims worldwide on the feast of Eid-ul-Fitr. Historically, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has delivered the message on behalf of the Holy See. The last pope to send a personal message to Muslims was John Paul II in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.