Pope Francis celebrated mass for members of Egypt’s small Catholic community on Saturday, urging them to hope and forgive those who terrorize and persecute them.

“True faith makes us see the other not as an enemy to be overcome, but a brother or sister to be loved. Do not be afraid to love everyone, friends and enemies alike,” he said.

His two-day trip to Cairo is aimed at improving Christian-Muslim ties, and comes just three weeks after Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in two Egyptian churches.

The Pope on Friday laid flowers and prayed for the 28 people killed in a Christmas season blast last year at Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral in Egypt.

He was accompanied by Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church which represent about 10 percent of Egypt’s 92 million population

Both met in an effort to bolster the frosty relations with Coptic churches.

His two-day trip to Cairo is aimed at improving Christian-Muslim ties, and comes just three weeks after Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in two Egyptian churches.

 

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