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Pope celebrates Mass in Cairo, urges unity

Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 01:31

Pope Francis calls for tolerance and blesses Egypt as one of the earliest nations to embrace Christianity, as he leads mass in Cairo's Air Defence Stadium. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

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Tight security outside the stadium where Pope Francis led Mass for Egyptian Catholics on Saturday (April 29). Vatican officials estimating more than 15-thousand people packed into Cairo's Air Defence Stadium, arriving early waving Egyptian and Vatican flags and even cardboard cutouts of the Pope. Francis touring the arena in a golf buggy before leading the Mass, repeating his call for tolerance. The two-day visit aimed at rebuilding ties with Muslim religious leaders. And to support Christianity in a region where numbers are dwindling. Francis urging Muslim leaders to unite against religious violence as Islamic militants threaten to rid the Middle East of its ancient Christian communities. The trip, just three weeks after twin church bombings by Islamist militants killed 45 people - most of them Coptic Christians. The Pope laying flowers and praying for the 28 people killed in a Christmas season blast last year at Cairo's largest Coptic cathedral. An unusual choice of venue for Saturday's religious service highlighting security concerns. Helicopter gunships circling the perimeter of the stadium and military jeeps patrolling the streets. The pope himself choosing to travel in an ordinary car to be closer to the people. After a dense day of meetings with political and religious leaders on Friday (April 28), the Mass was a highlight of the trip. Francis leaving the country on Saturday afternoon.

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Pope celebrates Mass in Cairo, urges unity

Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 01:31