Pope Francis in Kazakhstan: Never Justify Violence

Dhe pope travels in a wheelchair. The world has become accustomed to this sight since the visit to Canada at the end of July. Even the performances in Nur-Sultan, where Francis took part in the 7th World Congress of Religions, the Pope mostly completed sitting in a wheelchair. The meeting of the leaders of “World and Traditional Religions”, which takes place every three years in Kazakhstan, was initiated in 2003 by then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Around a hundred delegations from fifty countries took part in this year’s meeting, which had to be postponed by a year due to the pandemic. For the first time also a Pope.

Matthias Rub

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

At the start of the encounter, Pope Francis reiterated his fundamental rejection of violence as a means of conflict resolution. Religion should not be misused for power, the Pope said: “Let’s never justify violence. The sacred must not become the pillar of power, and power must not be based on the sacred.” It is wrong to distrust or even despise religion, because in truth “religions are not a problem, but part of the solution to a problem more harmonious coexistence,” said Francis.

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