Pope, on trip to mainly Muslim Albania, condemns Islamist militants

By REUTERS
September 21, 2014 13:31

TIRANA, Albania - Pope Francis, in his strongest criticism of Islamist militants to date, said on Sunday no religious group which used violence and oppression could claim to be "the armor of God."

Francis made his comments during a one-day visit to Albania, an impoverished Balkan country hailed by the pontiff as a model of inter-faith harmony because of good relations between its majority Muslim community and its Christian denominations.

"Let no one consider themselves the 'armor' of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression," he said in the presidential palace in Tirana, responding to an address by Albanian President Bujar Nishani, who is Muslim.

"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 to the right to life and the right of everyone to religious freedom," he said.


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