, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – Pope Francis Thursday morning held an inter-faith dialogue with religious leaders where he advocated for peaceful co-existence among Kenyans and good governance to reduce radicalisation among the youth.
The Pontiff stressed the need for the accommodation of differences in opinions and ensuring it does not cause divisions.
He stated other that reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and good governance will ensure the youth have jobs and reduce radicalisation.
“All too often young people are being radicalized to execute fear and terror. God is a God of peace. His Holy name must never be used to justify violence,” he stated.
Pope Francis said that religions play an important role in training the youth to value the human person over power and material gain.
“By caring for the spiritual needs of our communities we become a blessing to them. Inter-religious dialogue is not a luxury. It is utterly necessary in this wounded world in which we live,” he stated.
A number of religious leaders present echoed his sentiments with the Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala stressing the need for unity among various communities of faith and cultural background.
The Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims chairman Abdulghafur El-Busaidy on the other hand emphasized the need for tolerance among all Kenyans.
“We should cultivate tolerance. Religious leaders should lead the world, not politicians. The difference in our doctrines will not change, but we must learn to accommodate one another. To quote a German philosopher ‘No peace among nations without peace amongst religions’,” he stated.
Following the meeting, the Pope headed to the University of Nairobi grounds to preside over a Mass.
Earlier, there was confusion at the entries to the grounds which angered people. Many complained of poor organisation and lack of crowd control.
Some say they were there as early as 3am but there were no officers to start letting them in.
People with accreditation cards are also wondering what was the difference of getting special badges which have not been considered.
They instead had to squeeze with the huge crowds that led to a near stampede.
A member of the diplomatic core was one of the guests caught up in the confusion and she says she was pushed by the surging crowd and fell down.