Pope tells Egyptian bishops that religions must fight terror
Pope John Paul II told a group of Egyptian bishops on Saturday that the world's religious leaders must unite in the fight against terrorism, insisting that Egypt's small Catholic minority should have the right to live in freedom.
He said: "it is essential for the world's religions to unite their efforts in denouncing terrorism and in working together for justice, peace, and brotherhood among men."
The Holy Father stressed the importance of dialogue with Islam, but pointed out that "terrorism what has marked the opening of the third millennium", and needs to be addressed.
Catholic World News reports the formal dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Islamic world through exchanges between the Vatican and Cairo's Islamic Al Azhar University has produced a clear condemnation of religious fanaticism.
The Pope said that Catholics - who comprise only about 0.3% of the Egyptian population - will continue their work to promote education, the dignity of women, literacy, and economic development.
Catholic World News
Catholic Church in Egypt (catholic-hierarchy.org) | Egypt - Statistics by Diocese
Egypt's Catholics: We live in land of peace and tolerance (arabicnews.com)
Pope Decries Middle East Violence (AP)
2 Sep 2003