Pope Francis Warns Albania And World That Religion Does Not Justify Violence

During Pope Francis’s trip to the country of Albania, the majority of which is Muslim, he told the crowd the violence is never justifiable by religion, which is most likely a reference to the current fighting that is occurring in Iraq and Syria.

Pope Francis has had some controversy with ISIS before. According to an Inquisitr report, ISIS has made very credible threats directed at Pope Francis’s life. Iraq’s ambassador agrees that the amount of extremists that are all over the world threaten the Pope.

“Threats against the Pope are credible. Public statements and crimes against Christianity by ISIS are a fact. Just put two and two together. Let me be clear, I am not aware of specific facts or operational projects. But what has been said by the self-declared ‘Islamic state’ terrorists is clear. They want to kill the Pope.”

The Pope had a positive reception by the general public in Albania, which drew thousands of Muslims and Christians to hear him speak.

“Let no one consider themselves to be the ‘armor’ of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression. May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman, above all, the right to life and the right of everyone to religious freedom.”

Pope Francis seems to be highly supportive of tolerance between all religions. Pope Francis praised the tolerance and mutual respect that Christians and Muslims have in Albania, calling it “a precious gift to the country.”

Pope Francis continued to say, “[I]n these times where an authentic religious spirit is being perverted and where religious differences are being distorted and instrumentalized” to stress how peaceful co-existence is between different faiths.

Last month, Pope Francis had publicly denounced ISIS. But during his speech in Albania, he never mentioned any specific terrorist group by name. Instead, Pope Francis seemed to denounce all religious warriors, not just a particular group.

Pope Francis’s speech seemed to have a theme throughout. The Pope continued to say, “No one must use the name of God to commit violence. To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.”

This trip to Albania was the Pope’s first journey to a European country other than Italy since 2013. Many supporters of the Pope feared for his life due to the consistent threats by ISIS and other groups. Thankfully, his speech went smoothly.

[Image via AFP]