Pope Francis has returned to the Vatican but not before he has achieved his mission on the continent. He had visited Kenya and Uganda where terrorist group Al Shabaab has attacked, killed and threatened. He went about preaching the message of peace, hope and reconciliation. His apostolic jorney to Africa climaxed with a meeting with the Muslim community in the central Mosque of Koudoukou in Bangui, a city where inter-religious clashes have led to several deaths in Central Africa Republic.
“Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” said Pope Francis at the meeting. “We must therefore consider ourselves and conduct ourselves as such. We are well aware that the recent events and acts of violence which have shaken your country were not grounded in properly religious motives.”
“Those who claim to believe in God must also be men and women of peace,” the pope stressed.
“Together, we must say no to hatred, no to revenge and no to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself. God is peace, God salam.
“Dear friends, dear brothers, I invite you to pray and work for reconciliation, fraternity and solidarity among all people, without forgetting those who have suffered the most as a result of recent events.
“May God bless you and protect you! Salam alaikum!”
A Holy Mass was later celebrated at Barthélémy Boganda Stadium before His Holiness departed for Rome.