May 10, 2009

Pope boosts Christian minority, builds bridges to Muslims

AMMAN, Jordan – Walking a pilgrim's path in Jordan, Pope Benedict XVI energized its minority Christian population and built bridges to the moderate Muslim world.

In a wider message to the troubled region, he insisted that religious values must have a decisive role in the societies of the Middle East, especially when it comes to healing divisions and promoting peace.

It was the 82-year-old pontiff's first trip to an Arab country, the first portion of an eight-day Holy Land pilgrimage that would also take him to Israel and Palestinian territories.

He set the tone of his visit when he arrived at Amman's airport May 8, saying he had come as a Christian pilgrim and expressing his "deep respect" for the Muslim community...

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