Wednesday 16 January 2019

Extremists 'perverting' religion, says Pope

Pope Francis has denounced extremists around the world who are "perverting" religion to justify violence.

He made the comments on a visit to Albania, holding up the Balkan nation as a model of a country where Christians and Muslims endured brutal oppression under communism but now live peacefully together.

Security was unusually tight for Francis' 11-hour visit to the majority Muslim country, amid reports that militants who trained in Iraq and Syria might pose a threat.


Francis' interactions with the crowd were much reduced: His open-topped vehicle sped down Tirana's main boulevard, not stopping once for Francis to greet the faithful as is his norm.

He only kissed a few babies at the very end of the route as he neared the square where he celebrated Mass, and then left quickly when it was over.

Uniformed police formed human chains to keep the crowds at bay.


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