At the closing ceremony of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on September 15, Pope Francis emphasized peace, women, youth, and religious freedom.
Pope Francis noted, "Peace is urgently needed" because every military conflict or hotspot of tension and confrontation affects seriously the system of international relations.
He invited all of God’s believers to be on the front lines to promote the growth of peaceful coexistence and to bear witness to peace, preach peace, and implore peace.
The Pope said that peace is a synthesis of everything, the expression of a heartfelt plea, a dream, and the goal of our journey.
"Peace is born of fraternity; it grows through the struggle against injustice and inequality; it is built by holding out a hand to others," he added.
The Pope pleaded with all in the name of God, to work for peace, not weapons, for the good of humanity.
The Pope pointed out that the involvement of women is increasingly needed in the quest for peace.
Peace is lacking, which means that care, tender love, and the ability to generate life are lacking.
Women bestow care and life upon the world, and they are on a path towards peace.
The Pope stressed, "Women must also be entrusted with greater positions and responsibilities."
He urged all to ensure that women are increasingly respected, acknowledged, and involved.
Pope Francis asserted, "Young people are messengers of peace and unity, in the present and the future."
The pope said that the youth are the ones who call for peace and respect for the common home of creation.
The Church Leader urged all, "Let us put opportunities for education into the hands of the young, not weapons of destruction! And let us listen to them without being afraid to be challenged by their questions."
Pope Francis stressed on religious freedom that "those who legitimately desire to voice their beliefs must be protected, always and everywhere."
He said, "Many people are even now being persecuted and discriminated against on account of their faith."
The Pope reassured us that religious freedom will never be a mere abstraction but a concrete right.
He believed, "The path of interreligious dialogue is a shared path to peace and for peace; as such, it is necessary and irrevocable." - With input from Vatican News
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