In a clear message of unity and togetherness in Turkey, Pope Francis joined Muslims for two minutes of prayer in one of the most popular mosque in the country. The pontiff prayed with the Grand Mufti of Instabul, Rahmi Yaran, in the 17th-century Saultan Ahmet mosque.
Pope Francis joins Muslims to pray in mosque
Pope Francis, who is currently on a state visit to Turkey, joined Muslim faithful in Istanbul to pray at the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Istanbul Blue Mosque on Saturday, November 29.
Francis' visit comes at an exceedingly tense time for Turkey, with Islamic State militants grabbing territory next door in Syria and Iraq and sending some 1.6 million refugees fleeing across the border.
The Pope was left impressed after he was given a tour of the Blue Mosque by Yaran. Yaran said he prayed to God that his visit would "contribute to the world getting along well and living in peace."
Speaking the Pope’s prayer with Muslims, Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, called it a moment of "silent adoration." Lombardi said Francis told the mufti twice that Christians and Muslims must "adore" God and not just praise and glorify him.
Pope Francis also meet with the spiritual leader of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew , the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians.
According to , Francis bowed before Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and asked him "to bless me and the church of Rome" at the end of an ecumenical service Saturday evening. The Orthodox leader obliged, kissing Francis' bowed head. The two major branches of Christianity represented by Bartholomew and Francis split in 1054 over differences on the primacy of the papacy, giving particular resonance to Francis' display of deference.
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