19 January 2018
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The Pope in Turkey

Pope: Church asks only to live in freedom

Before leaving Turkey, Benedict XVI celebrated mass in the Catholic cathedral and once again raised ties with Islam. By our special correspondent.

Benedict XVI and Bartholomew I: Our unity for the people of Europe and the world

Commitment to ecumenism was reaffirmed in a joint declaration to strengthen Europe's Christian roots and to proclaim the Gospel in a secularized world. There was an appeal for religious freedom across the world. Protests are taking place here and there in Turkey but without much success. By our special correspondent.

In Istanbul's Blue Mosque the Pope prays for the brotherhood of humankind
In a relaxed atmosphere following weeks of tensions and fears that accompanied the Pope's arrival, Benedict XVI also visits Saint Sophia and the Armenian cathedral. Now it is time to wait for reactions in the Muslim world. From our special correspondent.

Pope: From "Mary's House", let us invoke peace for the Holy Land and humanity

The second stage of the apostolic voyage of Benedict XVI to Turkey. He met the small Catholic community near Mary's House, venerated by both Christians and Muslims. And he recalled Don Andrea Santoro. By our special correspondent.

Benedict XVI meets Bartholomew I, together for full unity
The visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the main reason for the Pope's trip to Turkey on the Feast Day of Saint Andrew. A joint statement is expected tomorrow. Istanbul is under tight security.

Dialogue between Christians and Muslims is a "vital necessity", says Pope

On the first day of his trip to Turkey, Benedict XVI expresses esteem and respect for Islam whilst demanding respect for freedom of religion. He says that the dialogue between Turkey and Europe is good and calls on the international community to commit itself to ending the conflict in the Middle East. By our special correspondent.

Turkey's Catholics, Orthodox pray for pope's arrival

Christians must travel for 18 hours to participate in mass with Benedict XVI in Ephesus. The pontiff's words in yesterday's Angelus about the "dear Turkish people" have been described by the media as a "warm and friendly message".

The difficult journey of Benedict XVI to Turkey

The main, ecumenical reason for the visit – seeing Bartholomew I – has been taken over by the problem of ties between the West and Islam. The comfort the pope will give the small Christian communities is important, and they hope his advent will mean more religious freedom. There will be the protection of John XXIII, known as the "Turkish pope". From our special correspondent.

Indifference, antipathy and scarce approval as Turkey awaits Pope

Every day, the nationalist press looks for excuses to make it seem as if the papal visit is annoying even for those people who are not against it. According to a survey, only 10% of Turks approve the pope's visit, 38% are decidedly against while another 38% are indifferent. And 14% preferred not to express their opinion. But now Erdogan says he will do all he can to meet Benedict XVI on 30 November.

Editor's choices

Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

Fady Noun

A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.

Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison

The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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