Pope says Islamist violence in Syria, Iraq is a "grave sin against God"

By REUTERS
November 30, 2014 13:12

ISTANBUL- Pope Francis said Islamic militants were carrying out a "profoundly grave sin against God" in Syria and Iraq, calling on Sunday for inter-religious dialog and action against poverty to help end conflicts there.

The pope spoke on the last day of his weekend trip to Turkey, which is sheltering nearly 2 million refugees from Syria, thousands of Christians among them.

Francis said people of all faiths could not remain indifferent to the cries of the victims of the "inhumane and brutal" war next door. "Taking away the peace of a people, committing every act of violence - or consenting to such acts - especially when directed against the weakest and defenseless, is a profoundly grave sin against God," he said.

The pope said stopping poverty was key partly because it gives rise to "the recruitment of terrorists." He has said that while it is lawful for the international community to use force to stop an "unjust aggressor," a lasting solution must be found.



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